City council approval on renovations to Merced Mall could bring big changes

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- Renovations to the Merced Mall have been a long time coming, and if the city council approves some final plans, the multi-million dollar plan can finally move forward.

"This has never been revamped or changed. It's long overdue," said shopper Melissa Saltos.

The Merced City Council will decide whether to approve the mall renovation's environmental plan.

If they do, mall officials can start submitting permits and looking for local contractors to begin construction.

The idea is to keep a portion of the mall indoors while creating a new outdoor venue filled with shops, restaurants, and a new theatre complex.

"A couple of ideas are to take the theatre and to place it inside the area of the mall, or leave it in place and redevelop that theatre pad with a new theatre," said property manager Max Whitley.

The mall, which opened in 1969 and is owned by Codding Enterprises, is coming up on 50 years.

Marketing manager Nanette Villegas says she can't think of a better time to get to work on some changes.

She says some spaces in the mall have already been left empty to house shops during the remodel.

Villegas can't disclose any of the company names they're speaking with but did say many clothing companies and restaurants are interested in coming to town.

"This is going to be a blend of new stores mixed with more traditional things that they're needing. That's going to be coming together and benefitting every," she said.

Shoppers say the mall hasn't changed in years, and what they want to see are some more options.

"I always wanted to see more mans clothing. more upgrades," said Manuel Garza.

If approved, the renovations could take a while.

Mall officials estimate the project could take roughly two years to finish, but folks could start seeing construction later this year.
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