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Sunday, September 8, 2013
Shoppers will notice several changes at Valley View Mall as the property owners improve the building.
One of the most visible changes is happening now in the courtyard bordered by Zumiez, Zales Jewelers, Ulta Beauty and Victoria’s Secret.
The area is cordoned off and the fountain and tile have been ripped out.
Mall manager Louise Dudley said workers will lay colorful tile and add electrical outlets and plumbing to accommodate additional kiosks. The fountain will not be replaced, Dudley said.
It often had problems, and because it was installed when the mall opened in 1985 many of the parts needed to fix the fountain are obsolete.
The new layout will open up the area, making it ideal for events. The courtyard has traditionally been where the Easter Bunny and Santa set up, but that may change, Dudley said.
Work on the courtyard began in late June and is expected to be complete by the end of this month.
A building permit filed in Roanoke valued the work at about $192,000.
CBL and Associates Properties, which owns Valley View, also recently spent about $165,000 remodeling the bathrooms on the upper level near JCPenney, Dudley said.
Elsewhere in the mall, the hallway between Barnes & Noble and Sears has become a canvas for a local artist.
Jonathan Murrill, a Craig County High School art teacher and adjunct professor at Virginia Western Community College, is painting over-scaled portraits onto a 53-foot section of wall, according to a statement from CBL.
Murrill and three high school apprentices are using “highly saturated colors on bright backgrounds,” the statement said.
The project is part of the Roanoke Art Mural Project, a program started in 2011 by Mim Young to bring more art to Roanoke buildings.
“The mural she and Jonathan came up with is very modern, and celebrates my favorite part of this mall — the people,” Dudley said in the statement.
It is the first RAMP installation that will be done on an interior wall. Shoppers are invited to stop by and watch the work in progress, the statement said.
In other mall news, Salon del Sol has closed in The District.
Several calls to the salon’s operating manager were not returned. Salon del Sol is based out of Richmond where it has six locations. Its salon on Franklin Road in Roanoke remains open.
CBL’s leasing office is working aggressively to find a new tenant, Dudley said.
“It won’t stay vacant long,” she said.
The former salon is the mall’s only vacancy.
Market building gets tenants
The Roanoke City Market Building has signed on its first retail tenant since the structure’s renovation several years ago.
Azar Jewelers left the building when the structure was renovated in 2010 and 2011.
The jewelry store has been selling its goods from a shared Market Street space with clothing store Gone CoCo, another former market building tenant. But rent at the Market Street location has increased, and store manager Tony Azar said the business will save $5,000 a year by moving back to the market building.
Another factor behind the move is that Azar wants its own retail space. The jewelry feels “lost” in the clothing store, Azar said.
“We want our own identity,” he said.
Azar will remain on Market Street through the end of the month. The jewelry store will open Oct. 1 in the market building in a 600-square-foot space at the corner of Salem Avenue and Wall Street.
Gone CoCo plans to stay on Market Street for at least another year, although the store’s lease hasn’t been finalized for the next year, store manager Razak Mogul said.
The clothing store will take over the half of the store that Azar is vacating, Mogul said. The extra space will allow Gone CoCo to add new inventory and spread out merchandise, he said.
Halloween stores opening
A Halloween apparel and accessories company is opening two seasonal stores in Roanoke.
Spirit Halloween is opening at Hunting Hills Shopping Plaza and at the former Haverty’s Furniture store at Valley View Mall, where it will occupy 10,000 square feet.
The store at Hunting Hills is located in the former Rack Room space. It was expected to open this weekend, according to Leslie Wendorf, manager for the company’s Mid-Atlantic region.
The Valley View store is expected to open Saturday, Wendorf said.
Spirit Halloween is owned by Spencer Gifts LLC and will open more than 1,000 stores in 50 states and Canada this season, according to its website.
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