Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Chapel Hills mall site of shoe store chain's second Springs location

By Rich Laden Updated: July 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

A national shoe store chain that opened its first Colorado Springs location last year will add a second store by year's end at the Chapel Hills Mall, part of a series of retail additions and changes at the north-side shopping center.

Shoe Dept. Encore, one of several retailers operated by North Carolina-based Shoe Show Inc., has signed a lease to take over the 20,037-square-foot space that Old Navy occupied on Chapel Hill's upper level, mall general manager Victoria Harley said Friday.

The store is expected to open around the holiday season, she said.

Other than a temporary occupant, the Old Navy space has been empty since that retailer moved to an Academy Boulevard shopping center in early 2011.

"It's a significant amount of space to occupy, and so that's definitely a win for the mall," Harley said Friday.

Shoe Dept. Encore describes itself as a family shoe store, with name-brand products such as Florsheim, Rockport, Bostonian, Converse, Nine West and Crocs. Its first store opened in March 2012 at The Citadel mall in the center of town.

Shoe Dept. Encore officials couldn't be reached for comment.

The retailer's arrival is the latest in a series of changes at Chapel Hills, which started with the mall's ownership.

The 31-year-old mall is owned by New York-based Garrison Investment Group, which partnered with another firm to buy the 1.2 million-square-foot mall for $71.5 million in 2011. Garrison now is the mall's sole owner.

Last year, a limited liability company controlled by Garrison paid another $5 million for the 88,000-square-foot former Kmart space at the mall.

The old Kmart and a 15-screen Carmike movie theater complex have been demolished, and a new, 13-screen, Carmike complex is going up in their place and is expected to open in mid-November.

Meanwhile, H&M, the trendy Swedish-based clothier, announced it's opening its first Springs store in a 21,600-square-foot space at Chapel Hills. It's also expected to open in mid-November, Harley said.

Other changes taking place at the mall include:

- Color Me Mine, a franchised paint-your-own pottery studio located at The Promenade Shops at Briargate, is moving to Chapel Hills and targeting an opening the first week of September, said owner Tracy duCharme.

Color Me Mine, which opened in the Springs in January 2010, will occupy 1,700 square feet, slightly larger than its existing location, duCharme said.

However, duCharme said she was mainly attracted to Chapel Hills because it's more appealing to families and children. Also, other Color Me Mine franchisees have had success near movie theaters, she said.

The Chapel Hill store also will have a wider footprint, providing a more visible display of store items and allowing a single employee to watch the entire store operation, duCharme said.

- Prime Time Sports, a merchandise and memorabilia retailer that has occupied temporary space for several years, will have a permanent, 3,529-square-foot location in a remodeled store.

- American Eagle Outfitters, a casual clothing, accessories and footwear store that occupied 4,749 square feet, recently expanded into a new, 5,981-square-foot location.

- Buckle, another apparel, accessories, and footwear retailer, will move to a 5,512-square-foot location during the fourth quarter of this year from a 4,581-square-foot store. Buckle will move to a temporary location in August while the new space is remodeled.

- Premier Nails, which occupied 1,611 square feet, is moving into a 1,727-square-foot store within the next two months.

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Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228 Twitter @richladen

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