Plans call to redevelop Concord Mall for industrial use

Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - A requested zoning change could dramatically change the business model that’s been in place at Concord Mall since the early 1970′s.

Instead of targeting retail tenants, the new plan is to seek businesses in the light industrial category.

Concord Mall has 540,000 square feet of commercial space along with a 1.7 million square foot parking lot. As for the current number of retail tenants-that’s less than a dozen.

“It looks like the mall as its current existence as a shopping facility is going to end with this proposal,” Elkhart City Councilman Aaron Mishler told 16 News Now. “Which is sad to see for many. You know myself, my mother was a hairdresser. I grew up doing homework in the back of Regis Hair Salon taking her tip money to go eat mall food and use at the arcade.”

The mall is poised to transition from a place where memories are made to a place where things are made.

The new plan to redevelop the mall calls for recruiting light industrial tenants.

In paperwork filed with the city, the development team writes that it is experienced and successful elsewhere in repositioning mall space into light industrial.

City staff notes that the developer intends to make a significant investment in property it plans to purchase and retain.

The plan also allows for the development of out lots on the mall campus, with commercial options likely adjacent to Main Street and multi-family residential uses adjacent to Mishawaka Road.

“I think that it’s good for our community and for the surrounding communities as well. Concord Mall for a long time was a bastion of jobs in our community and for something to do. As folks say, and unfortunately, it’s kind of declined. I hope to see this new development bring some new life into that property,” Mishler said.

The zoning request will go before the Elkhart City Plan Commission at a meeting next Monday afternoon.