Mall Waits for Village Help on Remodel

Cedar Creek Mall Waits for Village Help on Remodel

The new owners of the Cedar Creek Mall in Rothschild are still looking at making $6 million worth of improvements to the aging facility, but those plans are in a holding pattern until a special financing district is approved. Replacing the facility's dated facade, installing a new roof and putting in a new parking lot are among the upgrades Midland Management President, Ned Brickman outlined during a news conference in August.

But Brickman said he didn't want to share any information about a timeline for remodeling or discuss what new stores might be coming until the Rothschild Village Board approves a modified tax increment financing district that would help fund the improvements. 

The village is going through steps to enlarge an existing tax district to include the mall and some adjacent parcels, said Rothschild Village President George Peterson. "We're in the final stages of getting the (tax increment) boundaries modified to accommodate the mall and make it eligible for funding assistance," Peterson said. Although Brickman declined to comment about any new stores in the works, Peterson said the new owners are looking at "several."

"It's hard to say how many because (Brickman) is going to modify the interior of it so he can accommodate who's coming in," Peterson said. "So if he gets a couple of big stores, there's going to be fewer (stores) coming in." Either way, the upgrades to the mall are a good thing, said Tim Van De Yacht, sales and marketing director for nearby Stoney Creek Hotel & Conference Center and Grand Lodge Waterpark Resort.

"We're definitely excited and trust that the new mall owner is making the right choice over there," Van De Yacht said. "Any kind of growth is a success for this area." Van De Yacht said between the two hotels they have 250 rooms and 15,000 square feet of conference space, and their conference attendees as well as leisure travelers will be "hugely served" by the investment. "I think it's going to give folks another option to hopefully stay longer and have a better overall experience without having to travel to downtown Wausau and other outlying areas," he said. "It'll be more immediate and convenient."

Peterson said the revitalization of the mall is important to the village. "We're excited about getting it back on its feet and a producing facility to draw in tourist dollars and just retailer dollars," Peterson said.

The shopping center,off of Business Highway 51 near Interstate 39, is dated and "needs a new look," Brickman said in August. "I think what we're coming up with is a fresh look — clean, attractive — something where the tenants can display themselves better," Brickman said. "We're still working with Roundy's (Pick 'n Save grocery store) and Marcus (Cedar Creek Cinema) on the design of their storefronts.

"We're also going to redo the parking lot and redo the roofs and add landscaping and things like that," he said. "My hope is a year from now it'll be a different place."

The mall was foreclosed on by real estate company Stoney Rivers in December after previous owner Tom Timblin defaulted on more than $15 million in loans.

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