Propelling revitalization efforts in downtown, Kalispell Center Mall is expanding with a 40,000-square-foot addition to Herberger’s.
David Peterson, executive vice president of Goodale & Barbieri Company, the Spokane-based firm that owns the mall, has announced a major addition and investment in the heart of Kalispell. Peterson said Herberger’s, part of The Bon-Ton Department Stores, has signed a new long-term lease in the mall and plans to double in size over the next year.
Herberger’s will expand its department store from 40,000-square-feet to 80,000-square-feet and consolidate its second 14,000 square-foot store space into the newly expanded space, Peterson said. The store will expand to the west of the current site into the parking lot.
Construction will begin this summer, according to Eric Peterson, the mall’s property and leasing manager. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2017.
“We are excited about the expansion of Herberger’s, which will create a brand new shopping environment for our customers,” stated Steve Byers, executive vice president of stores, The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. “In addition, the store experience will be enhanced with new brands and expanded merchandise assortments.”
Herberger’s, JC Penney, Red Lion Hotels and all other stores in the 300,000-square-foot mall will remain open during construction.
The expansion marks the latest and largest example of redevelopment to surface in Kalispell’s core area, which is the subject of extensive planning efforts among civic and business leaders.
Four years after a sweeping revitalization plan was crafted for the core area, the vision is becoming reality thanks in large part to a $10 million transportation grant that was awarded last fall. Project leaders envision a list of changes that could spur private reinvestment in the heart of town, such as improved walkability and connectivity between neighborhoods and city streets.
As a key component in that effort, Flathead County Economic Development Authority is building an industrial rail park off Whitefish Stage Road that will allow CHS Kalispell to relocate its various properties to a new facility in 2018 followed by the removal of the downtown railroad tracks in 2019, according to a tentative timeline. A walking path will replace the tracks.
FCEDA hopes to break ground on the 43-acre rail park this fall after an environmental assessment is completed.
FCEDA leaders, along with city staff, gave an update on the entire core area revitalization effort at the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce lunch on June 21 at the Red Lion Hotel.
Kim Morisaki, FCEDA’s project manager, said the community has a great opportunity to provide feedback and ideas for the revitalized core area.
“We want to ask the community to start thinking about who might want to be located in the rail park and who might want to invest in the core area,” she said. “We all have a role to play in this community project and there will be a lot of opportunities in the next couple years for the community to give input.”
Morisaki said the entire effort has momentum, with the mall’s expansion providing another example. FCEDA has regularly been receiving interest from businesses, including hotel and residential developers, about potentially investing in the heart of Kalispell, Morisaki said.
“It’s really exciting,” she said.
For more information about the rail park, visit http://www.kalispellcoreandrail.com.