If you haven’t been to Gateway Fashion Mall in awhile, you may want to make the trip. The 31 year-old shopping center is seemingly having a strong rebound after a tumultuous last year.
Its new anchor, Famous Labels, reportedly opens this week inside the center anchor space that was vacated by Conlin’s Furniture last December. Famous Labels is a deep-discount department store that features name-brand apparel, houseware, and gift merchandise at clearance prices – similar to a TJMaxx store.
The food court, practically abandoned for the past few years, also saw two new restaurants open recently. Tom Meloy, owner of Prairie Creek Creations, which is also located at the shopping center, recently opened two new restaurants within the food court – Wild Willies and Grandpa Tom’s.
Wild Willies offers a full menu of choices, from hamburgers to pizza to breakfast items. Grandpa Tom’s, which opened just last week, offers deli sandwiches, pastries, and gelato – Italian ice cream.
A new anchor and two food court restaurants are not the only things that are new at Gateway Fashion Mall. Several other new businesses have also recently opened their doors, including a dance club targeted at those aged 18-20 called Palm Beach Club.
Despite completing a recent multi-million dollar renovation, 2009 was arguably the worst year for Gateway Fashion Mall, amongst a long-history of bad luck. The year saw the departure of numerous tenants and a fraud lawsuit filed against its owner.
Thankfully, 2010 has proven to be a positive turnaround for the center and, hopefully, a sign of progress.
Some had written off Gateway Mall’s future long ago. While it’s nowhere yet near its glory days of the 1980s and early 1990s, when stronghold tenants such as Herbergers, Sears, Menards, Osco Drug, and White Mart supported the center, it is certainly on a path of rejuvenation from its harrowing last year.
Its recent turnaround begs the question on if the rumored expansion, which reportedly includes an additional anchor space, might actually come to fruition in the near future.
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