River Park seeing some changes in 2016

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One of the valley's most popular shopping centers is seeing some changes in the new year. (KFSN)

One of the valley's most popular shopping centers is seeing some changes in the new year. Now that the holiday rush is over, River Park is adding new stores, and planning some renovations.

As crews remove the last remnants of holiday decor from the River Park Shopping Center. Property managers are already planning for what's ahead in 2016. The playground will be replaced, and in front of the movie theater, more seating and a stage will be added to the area where Santa usually sets up shop. For ice cream lovers Haagen-Dazs will occupy the space next to Color Me Mine. "We're just really excited, it's something we don't have here. Whenever it's something we don't have and we're adding to the group of what we do have, it makes it really special for us," said Tracy Kashian, River Park spokesperson.

One priority is also parking. They've reconfigured the parking lot to add 100 to 200 new spaces. They are also asking all employees to park on the upper level of the parking garage to leave storefront spots for customers. And it's customers input that inspires many of the changes at the shopping center. "I don't really have any complaints. I think River Park has got everything, pretty much," said Michael Spencer, shopper.

"We would like a little bit quicker lunches, places to get food quickly, there's not a whole lot of options for that here, there's more sit-down places, so stuff like that would be fun," said Jessica Laband, shopper.

PetSmart will be going into the former Lifeway Christian Store. A to Z Home Medical Equipment will move into the spot where Anna's Linens used to be. And Hand and Stone Massage is getting ready to move into the former Raceroom.

Several tenants are also expanding, the most visible is Victoria's Secret. The retailers "pink" brand, aimed at younger customers, gets its own space. With the more traditional part next door. Teazer World Tea Market also grew, adding more tables and seating. The center is still looking for new tenants for the Kwirkworld space, as well as the former World Sports Cafe. But management said it will be a retailer, not a restaurant. "At this point, we're just kinda holding out because it's such a prime location and we want to makes sure it's something that's really wanted here in Fresno," explained Kashian.
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