A representative of Magic Valley Mall excited for future uses, says tenants in talks for Macy's and Sears

Published: Jan. 8, 2018 at 3:48 PM MST
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The regional manager of Woodbury Corp., who owns the Magic Valley Mall, wants to change their zoning agreement to allow more changes in the future.

As the leases are up for Macy's and Sears after 30 years, Regional Manager Brent White says "the world of shopping centers was significantly different than it was today."

He said they've operated under the Planned Unit Development, or PUD, for about three decades and now they see a need to change.

"With all the change that's occurred, it's come time for us to establish a new agreement with the city and we appreciate the cooperation we've had with the city," White said.

On Wednesday, White presented at a

to the planning and zoning board, requesting a change in their

"The new agreement will allow the development, over time, of really a mixed use development here at this property," he explained.

They requested a few additions to their Zoning Development Agreement, or ZDA.

"This agreement will allow for the development of residential property around the shopping center, which might include small apartments, and it also will allow for the development of office complexes should we decide to do that," he said.

White said they don't have any specific plans right now to have any residential development, but "we certainly probably will do it in the future."

"It becomes a matter of timing. We look at what is the kind of use that's in the most demand," he continued. "Is it entertainment, is it dining, is it apparel or regular shopping goods, or is it residential?"

He said once the time comes, they will respond to the needs and think it won't be too long in the future.

As retail businesses keep changing, he says they talk to new tenants quite often.

Sears and Macy's have announced closures at the Magic Valley Mall, but Woodbury Corp. is in negotiations with some tenants.

"We have serious negotiations right now to replace Macy's with a new tenant that we hope to be announcing before long," he continued. "We have two other tenants who have expressed interest in the Sears location."

White said he cannot disclose who the tenants are because they have other competitors.

As for the changing demands, he wants to be able to respond to all of them and that starts with changing their zoning agreement.

"We're creating provisional opportunities that we can take advantage of when the public demand is there for them," White said.

Recreational uses can include places like Big Al's or Wahooz in Meridian where a facility has entertainment, dining and more.

"It really comes down to what people want... You might want to enjoy some entertainment, perhaps at the movie theater," White continued. "Under our agreement as it stands today, certain things are permitted and other things are not permitted. We've saw fit that because of the taste of people, so they can enjoy all those things."

White said he sees people wanting to live in the "interior of the community," where people can enjoy work and "perhaps dining, entertainment, shopping all in a walkable area from their home."

With this first step, moving from a PUD to a ZDA, they want to move toward the future.

"In the future, apparel will probably constitute around 40 to 50 percent and the remainder will be entertainment facilities like the kind I mentioned and dining." he said.

As for two big retailers leaving, he said they're still excited to see all the change coming to life.

"Now is an opportunity to change in many ways suit the needs of, especially younger people. We're excited to do that," White said.

As a representative for Woodbury Corp., White will go before the planning and zoning board Tuesday evening asking for approval of the request.

The meeting will be a public hearing held at the City Council Chambers at 6 p.m.

If approved, the board will put in a recommendation to city council members.