Business

New changes coming to former shopping mall

There are some changes coming to the former South Kitsap Mall, according to the new office manager Sue McCartney.

The mall, which opened for business in 1981, has been known as Towne Square since 2005 and is home to many small businesses and shops.

Gone are many of the retail stores that graced the former mall. Today, some of the spaces sit empty or  have been divided into smaller offices and leased into other types of businesses.

The mall’s escalator, the first in Kitsap County, continues to operate, but sometimes has problems.

But this summer, the mall will have more than two dozen mini-storage areas available on its first floor.

McCartney said larger former medical and doctor offices in the mall have been divided into smaller units, along with a 26 heated mini-storage units which are scheduled to be completed by June.

“They will vary in sizes and in prices,” she added.

McCartney, who was hired as the office manager of Towne Square in September, is excited about bringing new businesses and tenants to the 33-year-old, 160,000-square-foot mall.

In 2005, the mall was changed its direction by turning it into a “mixed-use” facility. Larry and Grace Li have owned the mall since 1995.

She said more space has been leased over the past several months.

“There are more professional businesses going in,” McCartney said.

McCartney said she has a background in banking and  sales. She worked as a mortgage industry with Bank of American for several years.

“I also have a little background in property management,” said McCartney. “This is a good fit for me.”

She said the mall recently hired a new custodian to help with maintenance.

“Little by little we are putting together a new team,” she said.

McCartney said the recession in 2008 was hard on the mall as many retailers left. Now Goodwill, McLendon’s Ace Hardware, New 2 You and Godfather’s anchor the mall.

“They are wonderful tenants and we are grateful to have them here,” McCartney said.

The mall mostly consists of professional businesses that need smaller spaces than retail merchants. McCartney said there is a church, radio station, a recording studio, a computer training school, insurance company, massage therapists, Christian book store, karate school, fencing center, a seamstress, fabric store, a mail room, beauty and barber shops, pet grooming, store, pawn shop and others. State Sen. Jan. Angel even has an office located inside the mall.

A new upholstery business plans to move into the mall this month, noted McCartney.

The mall has two conference rooms and event center available for school or community functions. There also is a conference room that can hold up to 30 people with a white chalkboard, McCartney added.

“A lot of people don’t know about them and at a minimum expense is great for school or community functions,” said McCartney.

McCartney said the mall is currently talking with the South Kitsap School District about space available inside the mall.

Schools can hold functions here free of charge, she added.

McCartney said most of the building’s traffic comes from the first-floor entrance next to Goodwill.

“People come in here and say, ‘I wish you lease more spots,’ ” said McCartney. “They don’t see everything that we have. There is so many kooks and crannies in this place.”

McCartney said she constantly is marketing the mall and has it listed on several Internet sites. She said she would like to see a farmers’ market in the mall’s parking lot during the middle of the week next summer.

She would also like to see Toys For Tots return to the mall, along with Santa during the Christmas holidays.

“My job is to be creative and find new ways to let community know that we are growing, expanding and looking for new people,” McCartney said.

The mall also has security cameras and alarms that are monitored by local law enforcement.

For more information, visit www.townesquarepo.com or call 360-895-2112.

 

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