That disappointment turned to glee earlier this week when the mall's owner,
The company envisions a glittering, glass-enclosed shopping center with 21st-century amenities, including new signage with modern aesthetics and outdoor seating under palm trees.
"There's almost a giddiness that this is finally happening," Mayor
Rouse will spend more than
"It's the biggest investment we're making among our 34 malls throughout the country," he said.
Renovations will include new mall entrances, flooring and lighting, plus a new restaurant pavilion offering open-air, patio-style dining. The food pavilion's two stories of glass will modernize its appearance and give customers views of the mall as they dine, Silberfein said.
"It will create quite an ambience and experience for the customer," he said.
The mall's new eateries will include
NewPark has 1.1 million square feet of retail space and more than 150 stores, such as Macy's, Coach, The Body Shop and Forever 21.
But, in a major shift since its opening nearly 35 years ago, today's shoppers spend nearly as much as money on gourmet food and special entertainment as they do in traditional stores, city leaders said.
Construction will start at NewPark next month. The upgrades will resuscitate the weathered mall and help attract new businesses within
"From a retail standpoint, the No. 1 thing in this city has been the slow decline of
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