Empire Mall To Get Major Facelift
by Ashley Kringen, Reporter
January 30, 2013 9:12 PM
The Empire Mall in Sioux Falls in getting a facelift.
On Wednesday, a kickoff event launched the 10-month demolition and reconstruction project.
Back in October, Simon Property Group, Inc., the owners of The Empire Mall announced the major construction project.
The mall opened its doors in 1975, and this will be the first major renovation the mall has seen in 37 years.
"It's a huge, huge project," said Dennis Gilliam, general manager of The Empire Mall.
"We've been waiting a long, long time for this," said Mayor Mike Huether.
Empire Mall officials and city leaders, such as Mayor Mike Huether expressed their excitement for a soon-to-be upgraded mall.
"I cannot for all those tourists, all those shoppers to come into the mall and hear all the oo's and ahh's and really celebrate the advancements that have been made," said Huether.
So excited, they put on their helmets, grabbed hammers and broke the first tiles of the new mall project.
Ceilings will be stripped, tiles will be torn out, entrances will be changed, and shoppers will have more places to rest, in comfy seating areas.
Madison Chapin, who is 15-years-old, said she enjoys time at the mall.
"I love to shop," said Chapin.
She said she can't wait to see what's in store for the mall.
"I'm super excited, it's going to look really cool and there's new out siding and in siding. I'm really excited for new stores and stuff," said Chapin.
Along with the upgrades, come job creation, something Mayor Huether said is a huge part of this 10-month journey.
"Local women and local men working to put a new face on this mall. That is economic development at it's finest," said Huether.
Mayor Huether said not only will the new mall impact the 158,800 people that live in Sioux Falls, but also those in the surrounding area.
"Also maybe more importantly over 800,000 people in South Dakota that are dying to spend their money here along with all the other folks in the Midwest, a hearty, hearty congratulations to the Empire Mall," said Huether.
Construction begins next week, starting with renovations to the bathrooms throughout the mall.
Mall officials said most of the construction work would take place at night to help accommodate shoppers.
The project is expected to be completed by the holiday season this year.