Exactly one year after flood waters from a burst pipe inundated Kirkwood Mall, mall owners have announced they will renovate the building's common areas.
Flooding from the burst pipe was an unexpected surprise for Keith Grotewald, owner of Lee’s Hallmark. On Feb. 8, 2017, he walked into the store he had operated for more than 47 years and heard noise coming from the back room. He went back to find water gushing from a closet.
“You just don’t know what to do,” he said.
But a temporary carpet was laid so the mall could fully reopen within four days.
Now, CBL Properties is using the insurance money to renovate the common area space of the 848,102-square-foot property and redesign the public restrooms and south entrance. Jennifer Wilson, general manager, said she was unsure what the final dollar amount would come to for the renovation.
Work will begin Feb. 12, with the majority being done overnight to prevent interruptions to business operations.
The remodel will include porcelain tile flooring through most of the common areas, new seating, paint, live plants and tables, including high-top tables with charging stations for electronics.
“The renovation is really focused on providing a more comfortable venue for the community to not only shop but also to work and to gather socially,” Wilson said in a statement.
Grotewald said, when Hallmark opened the day after Thanksgiving in 1971, there were only a few stores and no carpet as the building was still being finished. Ten to 12 stores would open that holiday season, including Woolworths and Osco Drug.
“It was just bare bones,” said Grotewald, adding it has been a good place to do business over the years.
Brian Ritter, president of the Bismarck-Mandan Development Association and Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, said the mall often has been taken for granted during its many years of service.
“And we shouldn’t because it does so much for the community,” said Ritter, pointing out that it employs 1,500 to 2,000 people, draws shoppers from a 100- to 200-mile radius and brings in $9.2 million in sales tax and about $750,000 in property taxes annually.
“By reinvesting in our property, we are optimistic that the region will respond and, subsequently, help us contribute more by shopping locally,” Wilson said in a statement.
The renovation is expected to be complete in October, “just in time to kick off the holidays,” said Wilson, adding that it hoped the renovation will attract new local and national stores.
Follow the progression on Kirkwood Mall’s website and social media.