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South Park Celebration

A double celebration at Southpark Mall in Moline today - the 40th anniversary of its opening and the beginning of major renovationd.

Senior Property Manager, Kathy Jurgens, says the renovation is already underway - the food court and former Sears store will be demolished, many current tenants are remodeling or planning to remodel, and 11 new stores will open in the mall. She says after 40 years, the new owner Macerich decided it's time to give it a new look.

"This is what Macerich does - this isn't new for them. They're going to bring in their expert team to really show what South Park can offer."

And she thinks a smaller mall will be more convenient for shoppers.

Paul Rumler, executive vice president of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce, says four years ago the chamber and city of Moline set up a task force to re-vitalize South Park.

"Retail corridors over the years have really been a symbol of the vitality of a community. And South Park Mall has not been what we hoped for over the years. So in the last few years we've really tried our best to breathe new life into it, and with Macerich as a new owner - they want to see this property be what it once was and what it can be again."

Rumler and the Chamber's ambassadors helped cut a ribbon for the anniversary, and renovations. He says this was the 87th ribbon cutting in the past seven months in this area, for business openings, expansions, and anniversaries. And the 87 represent 90 million dollars of investment and the creation of 700 jobs.

(photo: flanked by the QC Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, Moline mayor pro tem John Knaack and South Park manager Kathy Jurgens cut the ribbon)