ELYRIA — Dunham’s Sporting Goods is moving from a shopping strip on West River Road North to Midway Mall.
The store will move into the former Steve and Barry’s, said Midway Mall General Manager Mark Bressler. The anticipated opening date is April 1.
“Dunham’s has recognized Midway Mall as the retail epicenter of Elyria and is relocating to capitalize on it,” he said. “The space is currently under construction and will feature an entire new look. Mall management is excited that Dunham’s is joining Midway Mall’s tenant mix, and shoppers will enjoy the new and expanded store presentation.”
Dunham’s currently is in the Midway Crossing shopping plaza, which has the same ownership as Midway Mall. The move will increase the store’s size by 20,000 square feet.
“Dunham’s will occupy 45,000 square feet of space, making it one of the larger retailers at Midway Mall,” Bressler said.
Calls to Dunham’s were not returned.
The mall has struggled in recent years after losing anchor tenant Dillards and many smaller chain stores. Even the food court has dwindled to just a few restaurants.
The news that Dunham’s is coming to the mall comes just days after the project to reconfigure state Route 57 and raze the East 49th Street bridge was tentatively scheduled for August 2014.
If the project can come to fruition, it is being pegged as something that will spur development at the mall. Bressler said his initial reaction upon hearing the update on the project was one of excitement.
“We are pleased to see the city recognizes the importance of this project and how it plays a key role in revitalizing the Midway Mall corridor,” he said. “The project will capitalize on the mall’s excellent location between the Ohio Turnpike and I-90, will allow shoppers and visitors easier access to the area and will facilitate development of property surrounding the mall.”
Mayor Holly Brinda likewise sees the project as an economic development tool for the area.
“Navigating that area is one of the things that’s holding our Midway Mall back,” she said earlier this week.
City Engineer Tim Ujvari said the project will include improving portions of 57, removing the bridge and making two at-grade intersections with dedicated turn lanes on Griswold Road and Midway Mall Boulevard. It has an estimated cost of $31 million.
Bressler said the current design is confusing.
“The current design has created confusing traffic patterns that frustrate shoppers of the mall and the surrounding shopping centers, hotels and restaurants,” he said. “The modernization of the traffic patterns will greatly benefit all commerce in the area.”
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.