Construction has began on a renovation project at Walt Whitman Shops, formerly known as , that will introduce new stores and restaurants to Huntington.
Eleven new stores, encompassing a total of 72,000 square feet of additional retail space are planned, according to Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, the mall's owners.
Construction which began recently is expected to be completed in fall 2013, according to a company press release.
Last upgraded in 1999, the mall's new look will include 42,000 square-feet of additional space at ground level and 30,000 square-feet of second level. The project will transform the Route 110 entrance to the property to include installation of accent lighting, comfortable soft seating areas, color scheme through paint and flooring, a new Center Court, complete renovation of customer restrooms and select new skylights.
“Through this project, we are providing shoppers with everything they could ask for; more stores and premium brands as well as more dining options in a thoroughly revitalized setting,” said Thomas J. Schneider, executive vice president of Simon Property Group, in a press release Monday.
Highlights of the expansion and revitalization include a pedestrian-friendly exterior streetscape, new landscaping, upgraded site lighting, 150 additional parking spaces, driveway reorientation, new traffic lights and a bus stop relocation to the south side of the property.
According to company officials, a number of existing merchants will be relocating, renovating or expanding, including Apple, Caché and Victoria’s Secret.
Among the new retailers slated to open at Walt Whitman Shops are:
- Anthropologie, inspired by soulfulness, sincerity and the appreciation for innovation, offers a one-of-a-kind and compelling shopping experience that makes women feel beautiful, hopeful and connected.The 8,681 square-foot store will invite shoppers in to enjoy the clever details and fine craftsmanship of the brand’s clothing, shoes, accessories, lounge & beauty and house & home products.
- Free People is a contemporary brand that strives to cater to the intelligence, creativity, confidence and individuality of young women. The 1,777 square-foot location will feature Free People’s collection of sweaters, knits, dresses, skirts and outerwear in many colors and patterns along with denim, intimates, shoes and accessories.
- Hanna Andersson, a specialty retailer featuring adorable apparel and accessories for boys and girls, from infant to nine years-old, mommy and me outfits and men’s and women’s sleepwear will open a 2,022 square-foot space.
- Henri Bendel, a New York icon, offers a heritage rich in luxury making shopping at Henri Bendel a rite of passage. In the 1,866 square-foot location, irresistible indulgences and delightfully unexpected experiences will be at every turn of this “playground,” where shoppers will find must-have accessories, cosmetics and gifts.
- Swarovski is the world’s leading producer of cut crystal, genuine gemstones, and created stones. The 800 square-foot boutique will feature its collections, which continually reflect the spirit of the times, including jewelry, fashion accessories, watches, home accessories and crystal objects, as well as crystal chandeliers and lighting systems.
- Vera Bradley has earned a reputation as a leader in the gift industry by combining smart product designs with distinctive, colorful fabrics and trims. Its full line of stylish, functional and durable quilted cotton luggage, handbags and accessories will be featured in a 1,934 square-foot location.
More retailers will be announced as the project further unfolds and leases are signed, according to Schneider.