Renovations of former Sears building hint at future mall tenants; Cinnabon official

Building permits filed with the city point to a number of new commercial projects moving forward in Missoula, including renovations to the old Sears property at Southgate Mall and the former Shopko building on South Reserve.

WinCo Foods purchased the box store in September and received a building permit from the city on Nov. 25 to begin renovations.

A company official on Friday said no timeline has been established for opening.

“We don’t have any other updated information on that location yet,” the Boise official said. “We’re still working to move forward with that location. We would suggest you stay in tune with our Facebook page and WinCo website. As soon as we have any new information, we’ll be posting it there.”

Southgate Mall also received a building permit on Dec. 11 to begin renovations in the former Sears building. Work on that property has begun, though mall manager Tim Winger said it was too soon to announce any new tenants.

“The space needs to be prepared for tenancy,” he said Friday. “Until we have signed leases and agreements, I can’t comment on any new stores that would be coming in. But we’re doing some work to facilitate that.”

The building permit includes renovations to create a new concourse space that will connect with the main mall. Lucky’s Market occupied a portion of the Sears property when it opened after renovations in 2018.

The remaining property includes roughly 61,000 square feet of space, according to the city permit.

“There will probably be more than one store in there,” Winger said. “That’s about as far as I can go. There’s a lot of activity we hope to announce sometime after the year goes by.”

Southgate Mall also secured a building permit on Nov. 25 to renovate the former Games Galore space. Winger confirmed that Cinnabon will occupy the space next year.

“I believe we do have a signed lease for that,” he said. “I believe they’ll start construction in early 2020.”

Southgate Mall has undergone a long list of renovations and additions over the past four years, including the AMC dine-in theater, Lucky’s Market and H&M, to name a few. The Big Dipper will occupy retail space on property across the street next year, joining the Dram Shop in renovating the area.

Washington Prime Group, based in Columbus, Ohio, purchased the mall in 2018 for roughly $58 million from Southgate Mall Associates. Winger said the mall has a number of plans it expects to announce in 2020.

“As always, we’re looking for all kinds of different attractions at the mall, whether it be retail stores, restaurants, food or entertainment,” he said. “All those things we’re looking at and working on to bring lots of new, fun stuff in 2020.”