Southridge Mall in Greendale could be community hub: Village President

Southridge Mall in Greendale could be community hub: Village President


Ongoing efforts to redevelop Greendale’s troubled Southridge Mall include removing restrictions on building heights and uses. (Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel files)

Ongoing efforts to redevelop Greendale’s troubled Southridge Mall likely will include more non-retail uses — with village help.

The Greendale Village Board, at its Tuesday night meeting, voted to acquire covenants which restrict uses at the 100-acre mall site.

The village plans to remove those restrictions to allow more redevelopment at Southridge — which has two empty anchor stores and is going through foreclosure.

The covenants include height and use limits on buildings, as well as a prohibition on parking structures. Such restrictions were typically attached to property deeds when suburban malls were developed throughout the 1960s and ’70s. 

They significantly hamper Southridge’s ability “to adapt to changing market trends and best meet the current and anticipated future needs of village residents,” according to a village board statement.

It isn’t known yet what the village will pay to acquire the covenants, said Village Manager Todd Michaels.

He told the Journal Sentinel that appraisals would be conducted to help determine what value, if any, the covenants provide.

The Tuesday vote comes just two weeks after the board voted to buy Southridge’s former Boston Store for $3.3 million with plans to eventually make it available for new development.

That purchase is to be completed within 60 days.

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With the covenants removed, the Boston Store building’s future owner could demolish it to make way for new uses — such as apartments, a hotel or a medical office building.

Similar uses also could come to the former Kohl’s department store, which has been vacant since 2018, and to portions of Southridge’s parking lots.

Those types of projects have been done at other redeveloped malls, including Glendale’s Bayshore and Wauwatosa’s Mayfair.

Southridge has seen some redevelopment in recent years, including a Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, Round 1 bowling and amusement center and TJ Maxx opened in a former Sears store in 2018 and 2019.

“We have a significant opportunity to redefine our community and create a new, state-of-the-art community hub on the current Southridge Mall property,” said Village President Jason Cyborowski, in a statement.

Southridge is Greendale’s largest property taxpayer.

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The village provided $12 million to help Southridge operator Simon Property Group Inc.’s earlier efforts to redevelop the mall, which included opening a Macy’s department store in 2012.

Around $5.4 million is still owed and is to be repaid by the improved mall’s property taxes by 2024.

Another $2 million in village financing help is being repaid through the more recent redevelopment of the separately owned former Sears building.

A Simon affiliate which owns the mall is going through foreclosure with its lender.

Meanwhile, the former Boston Store was acquired through foreclosure by its lender, a Bank of America affiliate, which will sell that separately owned property to the village.

Tom Daykin can be emailed at tdaykin@jrn.com and followed on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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