New Retail in Arlington Signals Stronger Economy
By Office of Communication
Posted on July 24, 2012, July 24, 2012

Patricia Cox of Arlington is a self-proclaimed shopaholic, a kind of weekend warrior who knows the best deals because she spends so much time roaming area stores - from big box brand names to small boutiques. Who better to be the barometer of retail development in Arlington?

Seems she's noticed a bevy of activity at Lincoln Square Mall lately, a shopping center she frequents because she lives right around the corner. Then there's the sprucing up of Parks Mall which she frequents because it's not far from her work and even a couple of new businesses at The Highlands shopping complex where she often lunches.

She's right about the activity, says Pam Dawson, Mall Manager at Lincoln Square, where Cox was on Saturday, window-shopping the new Clothes Mentor and headed on a shoe hunt at Stein Mart.

"You can actually sell your clothes there and turn around and get other clothes there or somewhere else," Cox said of Clothes Mentor, a women's clothing resale shop that will have its grand opening Thursday, July 26. "You can't really beat that."

In terms of retail development, "A lot is going on," said Dawson, particularly at Lincoln Square where a pair of buildings is being constructed on the west side of the mall near Best Buy and PetSmart. When completed in the fall, there will be a Michael's arts and crafts store and health and beauty store Ulta.

"We feel like the economy, while not fully recovered, is recovering," said Dawson, who mentioned that a Chaucer's Sushi and Blue Mesa Grill are also new additions. "We have felt some stimulus in our area of Arlington being close to I-30 and being in the middle of the two big cities. Retail here has stayed strong despite some bad times and hopefully good times ahead. So far it's all looking good."

So good that over at the highly stocked Highlands shopping center The Container Store recently opened with a Crazy 8 kids clothing store and Starbucks on deck.

The Parks at Arlington is adding a new face of its own, transforming a bulk of its 1.5-million square-foot space with a number of enhanced amenities and aesthetic upgrades such as new tile flooring, soft seating furniture, new planters and trash receptacles and a renovated Food Court. It all gives the regional shopping center quite a sleek, polished look.

The idea, said The Parks General Manager Lorie Lisius, is to create a brighter, more welcoming environment for shoppers.

"We want to make certain that we continue to provide an optimum shopping environment," Lisius said, and with little impact on shoppers. Crews worked at night, starting at 10 p.m. and finishing at 6 a.m., so "We were ready for business every morning."

Allan Scott of Grand Prairie, who was shopping for a lawn mower at Sears, said Arlington malls have remained a favorite even though he moved from his Arlington apartment two years ago.

"I like them," he said. "I can find what I'm looking for at one of them."

By Kenneth Perkins

New Retail

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