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ALTON, IL-The city has approved a business plan and the creation of a “Special Business District” to help Coyote Management LP in its more than $15 million renovation of the 635,000-sf Alton Square Mall. The company purchased the mall last year for more than $15 million, and promised to engage in large overhaul of the 75%-occupied property.

The district will allow Coyote to expand the scope of its original renovation plans, and also to begin work on the property immediately, says a company spokeswoman. “Now we have the funding to do it,” she tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re hoping to have the renovation completed by year-end.”

The mall has 56 stores open, and these include anchors Macy’s, JC Penney and Sears, as well as a branch of the Hayner Public Library, which is being expanded to 25,000 sf. The firm plans to massively market the mall at the upcoming ICSC convention in Las Vegas to gain more tenants. “We have two leasing people who have full schedules in Vegas, we hope to do a lot of deal-making there,” the spokeswoman says.

The renovation plans for the 30-year-old property include redesigned mall entrances, the removal of structural barriers in the common area between the main and second floors, new flooring on the first and second floor, enhanced court areas to include soft seating, carpet, new landscaping, updated lighting and acrylic laminate panels, and a large hvac overhaul. “We’ve spent more than $150,000 on the hvac and escalator alone,” the spokeswoman says.

She says the city, a suburb of St. Louis, agreed to the special district because the mall is the largest retail property in the area. “They need a viable regional mall in their market,” she says. The company also owns and manages the 552,163-sf Temple Mall in Temple, TX.

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