The city of Irving has approved plans for a WinCo Foods supermarket to be added to Irving Mall on part of the parking lot owned by the Sears store.
Negotiations are still underway with WinCo and the soonest construction would begin is next year, according to the city.
Irving Mall, build in 1972, is one of those older shopping centers that has been sold by its original developer but is located at a busy intersection with prospects for redevelopment.
A real estate company split off from Sears Holdings Corp. a year ago has received approvals from Irving to tear down the Sears automotive center and turn part of a parking lot adjacent to Sears into a parcel ready for WinCo to build a 54,000-square-foot store.
Seritage Growth Properties is a publicly traded real estate investment trust formed in June 2015 with about 250 properties mostly leased to Sears and Kmart. It’s been making regional headlines by recapturing space from underperforming Sears stores and bringing in new tenants including, Primark, a fast fashion department store from Ireland. Primark has opened in Sears stores in Pennsylvania and the retail industry is closely watching its progress.
Seritage and WinCo haven’t responded to requests for information about their plans.
So far in Texas, Seritage has started repurposing the Sears Auto Center located directly across from the North Star Mall in San Antonio. Last month it started building the space for Orvis, Jared’s Jeweler, and other smaller tenants.
In Texas, Seritage owns 17 properties including local Sears stores at Southwest Center Mall in Dallas, Stronebriar Centre in Frisco, Irving Mall and Valley View Center in Dallas.
In Irving, the Sears store is on the north side of the mall located at the intersection of Belt Line Road and Interstate 183.
The plans include a full renovation of the parking area with landscaping, said Scott Connell, Irving’s director of economic development. The WinCo store won’t have direct access to the mall, but the city anticipates the project is a key part of ongoing efforts to improve the shopping center.
The city is working with new owners, Ohio-based WP Glimcher, which recently acquired the mall from Simon Property Group.
“The mall has an interesting collective mix of stores, but it’s successful and at a key intersection in Irving,” Connell said. “Grocery is an issue with area residents who want more options. It’s a densely populated area with ready customers.”
Plus the intersection is a key shopping area, he said, with a new Best Buy nearby, and a shopping center anchored by Target across the street.
Matt Luedtke, vice president at the Weitzman Group who leases two shopping centers across Belt Line from the mall supports the city’s approval of a supermarket at the mall.
“The new WinCo will be a winner for the entire intersection,” Luedtke said. “We see it as driving more traffic to the mall, which increases exposure for all of the retail at the intersection and results in stronger cross-shopping.”
He has seen new WinCo stores coming into a local areas help with tenant retention and overall leasing.
Irving Mall is anchored by a Dillard’s Clearance Center, Macy’s , Sears, Burlington Coat Factory and AMC Theater. Discounters, La Vida Fashion, which is known for its quinceaÃ±era and cocktail dresses, and Shoppers World, have opened in the mall.
Idaho-based WinCo came to Texas in 2014 and now has eight stores open in North Texas and an 830,000-square-foot distribution center under in Denton.
WinCo has been working locally with Dallas-based development company DWC Commercial Properties.
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