Eastfield Mall in Springfield approved for expansion

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s been closed for nearly four years and now the old JCPenney building at the Eastfield Mall is going to be demolished, which means new shops are on the way.

The property owners and the city are ready to tear it down and move forward. Springfield City Councilor Ken Shea told 22News, “That mall was built back in the ’60’s so it’s a little dated for a mall. I think if we can update that along with everything else in the city it’s going to enhance the marketing ability.”

Mountain Development Corporation owns the Eastfield Mall. Monday night the Springfield City Council granted it a special permit to demolish the building.

This is a bird’s-eye view of the mall on Boston Road. The red square to the north of the building is where the JCPenney is located. Since it’s been vacant, the property owners says there just haven’t been as many people shopping at this end of the mall.

“We’ve seen some vacancy stay at the end. Eb Lens did a good job, but they moved to the main mall,” said Melinda Greaulau, of Mountain Development Corporation. “When you have a hole there that’s not filled it really creates challenges to lease it.”

The owners initially tried to lease the building in its current condition but had no luck. They said that’s why they’re excited to demolish the building.  It’s two floors now, but will be rebuilt as a brand new one floor unit. That will help decrease the amount of taxes the mall has to pay for the space.

Currently, the Eastfield Mall is paying taxes for the old JCPenney site, although they are not bringing in any revenue from the location.  That’s why city councilor Shea told 22News, it really is a win-win for the city and the mall.

The owners hope to have the building torn down this summer. After that, they’ll build a brand new mall entrance set to open in time for holiday shopping. It’s still to soon to tell though what shops will go into the new building.

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