Construction, location changes at Tacoma Mall

Shoppers will notice some changes at the Tacoma Mall soon, as several new stores are set to open in the coming months, with other stores moving to different locations within the mall.
Three new stores – abercrombie, Helzberg Diamonds and Vans Shoes – have all signed leases at the mall, with opening dates scheduled for this spring.
Baker Shoes (formerly Leeds Shoes) will be moving, and bedroom furniture store America the Beautiful Dreamer has re-opened after a four-month absence from the Tacoma Mall.
Owned and operated by Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie is an apparel retailer featuring brands for kids 7 to 14 years old.
The new store will open in April, across from Nordstrom, requiring the renovation and combination of two former stores at the mall, The Bombay Company and Natural Wonders.
The Bombay Company decided not to renew its lease at the Tacoma Mall, Marketing Director Lynn Castle explained, while Natural Wonders went bankrupt.
Fine jewelry store Helzberg Diamonds will be located in the former Leeds Shoes location – which will be renovated – directly across from Starbucks.
Currently under construction, Vans footwear will be opening in early March near JC Penney.
Leeds Shoes will be moving four stores west of its current location and changing its name to Baker Shoes.
Baker Shoes purchased Leeds Shoes in 2000 and waited to open Baker Shoes in anticipation of a location change and subsequent renovation.
Furniture and home accessories store America the Beautiful Dreamer continues its journey through the mall, opening a store in the middle of the mall, next to Ann Taylor Loft.
America the Beautiful Dreamer has made a business of moving to various vacancies throughout the Tacoma Mall as space becomes available on a short-term basis.
“In four years they’ve moved five times,” Castle said.
The store is expected to be at its current location for four-to-six months.
All of the recent activity at the mall is a continuation of recent success.
“We’re a real meat-and-potatoes mall,” Castle said of Tacoma Mall. “We’re not a tourist mall.”
Tourists make up about 2 percent of mall traffic, Castle said, and still the Tacoma Mall ranked number seven in terms of foot traffic among Simon Property malls for the fourth quarter of 2001.
In spite of the recession, Castle said the Tacoma Mall had a good year 2001, even with a December that she described as “not great,” but better than a lot of other malls.
“We still want to be seen as progressing forward,” Castle said. “There’s been no slowdown.”
With over 140 in-line merchants, the Tacoma Mall is anchored by The Bon Marche, JC Penney, Mervyn’s, Nordstrom and Sears.
A recent renovation included the creation of a nine-bay food court and children’s play area.
The Tacoma Mall is owned and managed by Simon Property Group of Indianapolis, Ind., which acquired the mall and its 1,266,000 square feet of gross leasable space in 1987.