Demolition of commercial properties near 24th Street and North Grand Avenue began Feb. 20, in part of ongoing efforts to breathe new life into the North Grand Mall area. A representative from GK Development, the company that owns the mall, confirmed that one tenant has signed a lease for the new retail space that will be created in the former Sears store, but GK declined to specify the tenant.
"Developing a retail project is a long, complex process," said Marianne Fasano, public relations consultant for GK Development, in a written statement. "During this process, retailers may choose to disclose or not disclose specific information about new stores based on their plans and timelines."
The construction process will add 25,000 square feet of retail space by remodeling the former Sears store and demolishing and rebuilding the structures south of it. Throughout the process, all stores in the mall will remain open as usual. Demolition is expected to be complete by the end of March.
Due to ongoing negotiations with the city of Ames, GK Development has until Sept. 1 to sign leases with two tenants, or the city has the ability to revoke the site plan and call a bond until further improvements are made.