It's all about expanding and upgrading at the Sandusky Mall Complex.
A bookstore, sporting goods store and a mixed-use development are all part of a plan to bring more traffic to the Sandusky Mall.
Dick's Sporting Goods, based out of Pittsburgh, offers an assortment of brand name sporting goods equipment, apparel and footwear. Dick's will anchor the east end of the Sandusky Pavilion, where demolition is currently underway. The company has more than 300 stores across the nation.
Demolition began last week at the Dick's site, said Norm Peters, vice president of real estate for the Cafaro Company. The sporting goods store -- described as "state-of-the-art" -- is slated to open by Thanksgiving.
The Sandusky Mall is owned by the Youngstown-based Cafaro Company and occupies about 750,000 square feet. Built 30 years ago, the mall has grown to include the Sandusky Pavilion, which sits adjacent to the mall and houses Target and Old Navy. The pavilion takes up about 233,000 square feet.
By year's end, the mall is looking to occupy nearly all of the available spaces, Peters said.
The company also has plans to build a single-story, full-service Borders on the west side of the mall near J.C. Penney. The company still does not have a signed lease with Borders, but has been working with the popular bookstore for several years to bring it to the area.
Bringing up the rear of the mall is a mixed-use urban plan that will combine living, working and playing on nearly 80 acres of land. High-rise condominiums, shopping, convenience stores and offices are planned for the area. The property is also owned by the Cafaro Company.
Ryan Goldberg, chief executive officer for the New Albany-based Centurion Development Group, said construction on the project could begin as early as August.
There are also plans for the mixed-use community to be eco-friendly, using wind towers and solar power to alleviate energy consumption. Developers hope to attract baby boomers to the community, who would be attracted to the environmental theme, pedestrian-friendly appeal and proximity to the mall.
"I was very impressed," said Cafaro about the development plans. "It will be something everybody will be proud of."
The development will be built in phases, with about 200 units expected to go up within the first year. Up to 1,000 units are planned for the entire project.
Developers hope to have final plans in place next month. They are waiting to have the environmental engineering work completed before any work begins.
"We're coming down the home stretch here," Goldberg said.