It's perhaps the name of the place you went to as a college student when you wanted to hang out. It's also a reference to the number of anchor stores at a St. Charles attraction that will now see a facelift designed to appeal to shoppers during all four seasons. For all those reasons, the new owners of Charlestowne Mall will rename the retail location The Quad St. Charles.
The name change is the second big splash The Krausz Companies, Inc. group has made since bringing the mall redevelopment project to city. The first big impact was news that the old Sears wing would be gutted and removed from the mall in favor of an enhanced theater entrance. The existing food court will also be moved and see major changes.
All of those ideas took a step toward reality Thursday with company officials announcing they completed the purchase of the mall and have taken over the title.
In a written statement, Krausz Executive Vice President Jay E. Krigsman set April 2014 as the groundbreaking for the changes to come.
"During the past year, we listened closely to what our highly educated, affluent customers wanted in a shopping center close to home," Krigsman said in a written statement. "The Quad St. Charles is the result of applying that knowledge."
The inspiration for The Quad name centers on the "neighborhood feeling" the company is trying to bring to the mall through a redesign. Outdoor patio dining and exterior merchandised retails will be part of the mall for the first time. There will also be a "welcoming center" with a fireplace as the key attraction for families and shoppers to gather. The existing abundant natural light will be retained in the new environment.
Aside from the feel of the mall, customers will most look forward to what stores the new ownership will attract to the currently vacant hallways. While a new anchor isn't on the radar, the company promised a mix of retail and restaurants customers have never really seen at the location.
"The retail mix will feature an eclectic blend of traditional, high end and value oriented retailers, edgy, fashion-forward shops, convenient services and marketplace-type kiosks, plus innovative contemporary dining," according to the written statement. "This energetic environment will make The Quad St. Charles the place to go for shopping, dining, the latest fashions, catching a movie, or just hanging out with friends and family in any weather."
The fine details of bringing all that to life are still in the making. While aldermen have signed off on a preliminary concept plan for the mall, they have yet to delve into any deep discussions of the construction plan. That includes any possible financial assistance the developers might seek from the city.