Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

May 30, 2012

Kokomo Mall transforms into Kokomo Town Center

Kokomo Mall’s new face has done well for its newest anchor, the store’s owner said.

Robert Miller & Son Furniture opened earlier this month in its new location after the first of three phases finished in the mall’s conversion into the Kokomo Town Center.

“It was way above and beyond what I expected,” said Mark Nichols, co-owner of the furniture store. “When we signed the lease, I had no idea how extensively they were going to redo the outside of the building, and I’m really pleased with that. Everybody makes positive comments about the outside.”

Scott Pitcher, president of the project’s general contractor, Fortune Management Inc., said his firm is waiting to hear from the property’s California-based owner before moving on to the second phase of the “de-malling.”

Representatives with the mall’s owner did not respond to interview requests for this story.

Crews will next work on JCPenney on the north end of the business strip. The third phase will involve tearing down the back half of the mall, Pitcher said.

The work began last year after Kokomo Mall lost one of its anchors, Elder-Beerman.

The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which owns Elder-Beerman, closed at Kokomo Mall in November. The retail company then opened as a Carson’s in the Markland Mall, where executives expected to pull in more foot traffic.

Soon after The Bon-Ton Stores announced its plans to move to Markland Mall, Kokomo Mall revealed plans to convert from an indoor mall to the outdoor-oriented Kokomo Town Center.

Robert Miller & Son, at that time, was looking for a new location because its previous store on U.S. 31 in Sharpsville was going to lose its direct access to the state highway because of the future bypass. Customers would have had to drive 3 miles out of the way to reach the furniture vendor.

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