Wausau mall manager, mayor, react to Younkers closing - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau mall manager, mayor, react to Younkers closing

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Wednesday afternoon, Bon-Ton, the parent company of Younkers, announced that they will be closing the Younkers location at the Wausau Center Mall.

Stores have continually left the mall over the past few years. There are roughly 35 retailers left and no anchor stores. Many people have questioned whether it will stay in business.

However, Dan Rosenfeld with the mall management company, said the mall isn't closing anytime soon as there are still numerous tenants under lease agreements for years to come. He said they're disappointed in Younkers departure, but are still positive about the future.

"Traffic in today's retail isn't what it used to be of yesteryear where you're building a mall around anchor stores," said Rosenfeld. "The reliance on the anchors isn't what it's perceived to be."

Rosenfeld said they're still working on re-purposing the old J.C. Penney space which closed in 2014 and are still working on filling vacancies.

"We're going to continue to merchandise and market like we have been," said Rosenfeld.

 As for Younkers, the space is owned by a person out of California, not the mall or the city. It will be up to that person to determine what happens with that space.

Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke said he was disappointed to hear of the closure, but there's not much the city can do since they don't own the mall, Rialto Capital owns it.

"It's kind of sad, when that mall first opened up in August '83 it was really special," said Mielke. "It's still a very viable building, it's still an important part of Wausau."

The Sears building attached to the mall, which is now owned by the city, is still vacant.

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