Roanoke-Area Mall to Expand, Get Makeover

58K-s.f. to be added, plus reconstruction of other parts of mall


Feb. 15--The owners of Valley View Mall are planning an expansion that would add several thousand square feet to Roanoke's suburban shopping center.

Site plans filed Monday in Roanoke City's planning department reveal that CBL & Associates Properties, the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based mall owner, wants to build The District at Valley View, a complex of at least 10 retailers, each ranging in size from 1,500 square feet to 27,185 square feet. The buildings, which presumably would contain retailers and restaurants, are planned to go up in the side of the mall parking lot that faces Valley View Boulevard and stretches in front of Sears, a Valley View food court entrance and one entrance of J.C. Penney.

The expansion would add about 58,000 square feet to the mall, which now totals 787,255 square feet of leasable space. Valley View's anchors include Belk, Hecht's, Old Navy, J.C. Penney and Sears.

CBL's site includes plans for a vacant movie theater at Valley View, located by Sears, to be renovated and expanded to create a 27,185-square-foot building, likely an anchor tenant. Parking would be located in the center of the buildings and an additional entrance into the shopping center would be created off of Ring Road, the road that surrounds the mall.

According to the plans, the new development would be an open-air center, rather than a covered-in mall style.

No retailers were named for the new center, and CBL spokeswoman Deborah Gibb would not comment about the company's plans.

"We don't have any official information that we're releasing at this time," she said.

Officials in the city's planning department have not yet reviewed the company's site plans, said Conley Taylor, development review coordinator.

They'll do that in the next 15 days and send their comments back to the developer.

Valley View tenants haven't been given any details about new retailers that will be built there, though mall manager Louise Dudley met with tenants last week, said Lori Rosen, manager at Victoria's Secret at Valley View. She said Dudley only told them about a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers restaurant that is planned for a corner of the mall's parking lot across from Grand Home Furnishings.

But Dudley hinted at more news to come.

"She did say there were some leases out for signature," Rosen said.

In recent months, several mall retailers located near the vacant movie theater have closed, including Java Jitters, a coffee shop, and Nuts About Chocolate. It is unclear why these retailers closed and whether the closings are related to future mall expansion.

Valley View opened in 1985. CBL purchased the mall in 2003 from Faison Enterprises of Charlotte, N.C. CBL is a privately held real estate investment trust, and it is one of the top owners of malls in the country and in the Southeast.

Valley View recently renovated a space across from Old Navy to make room for a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.

CBL has initiated other expansions into retail parcels surrounding the mall in recent years, such as Dick's Sporting Goods, which opened in 2003 across from the mall.

[Roanoke Times, The (Roanoke, VA) (KRT) -- 02/16/06]