From retail to revamped: Eastgate Metroplex fills up its biggest spaces

Eastgate Metroplex

Gerry Chauvin is no stranger to the redevelopment of dead malls — he’s successfully converted malls or consulted with cities converting malls to business use across the country, and Eastgate Metroplex is the sixth he’s been involved with.

Although he estimated his previous redevelopments have taken three to five years to fill up, the former Eastland Mall has taken more time due to the recession as well as the difficulty of changing the perception of the building as a dead mall.

“Even to this day, when we talk to groups they sometimes hold onto the idea of this as an old mall, and they don’t want to be part of it,” he said.

But that perception is fading. As of now, 72 percent of the building’s 900,000 leaseable square feet are now occupied, and Chauvin, a development consultant for Eastgate Metroplex, said an impending deal with a Fortune 500 company for the first floor of the former Dillard’s store will push that up to 83 percent.

Should that deal pass, the biggest remaining space would be the 35,000 square feet that was once a movie theater.

“We don’t have any big blocks anymore,” Chauvin said. “It’s just bits and pieces.”

View entire article by ROBERT EVATT World Business Writer in the Tulsa World

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