TROY, Mich. – The parking lot at Oakland Mall may never be as full as it once was, but the mall’s new owner said he has plans to improve.
In recent years, when long-standing malls have come under new ownership the plans have often involved demolition. Oakland Mall’s new owner, Mario Kiezi, 31, said he is more interested in a renovation. He plans to bring foot traffic back to the mall.
Kiezi wants to transform the shopping plaza into a family destination. He said there’s the potential to have farmer’s markets in the parking lot, new anchor restaurants, and attract national entertainers.
“You feel like this is one of the sleepiest sites in Metro Detroit and we are going to wake it up,” Kiezi said. “It’s not so much money. We’re not looking to bring in gold sculptures into this place. We’re looking to bring in art, we’re looking to bring in what I call a hipster culture and you can see things in here -- we’re gonna make some very, very simple changes that are gonna go a long way.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity that we’re here at this time. I’m looking forward to the changes to come. You know, bringing in the more people. I’m excited about it,” Wells said.
The hustle and bustle have dwindled over the years. Consumer habits, especially with younger demographics, a trend toward online shopping. Kiezi is taking that on as well.
“If you open up a shop here, well, you can retail, you can service the guests that come within the mall but you can also work out the back door where UPS can ship out about 150 boxes to the local community,” Kiezi said.
Hobby Lobby will be coming in where Sears used to be and LongHorn Steakhouse is also coming to the mall.
The renovations to Oakland Mall include a new name.
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