Woodfield's new GM aims to keep mall the country's top shopping destination
When Kurt Webb bought a house in West Dundee, his wife and four children had not seen it yet.
But he knew what she liked. Besides, he already accepted a job as general manager of Woodfield Mall, without first seeing the country's top shopping destination in Schaumburg.
"When I first walked into the mall, it just blew me away by its sheer size, the renovations, the brightness and openness of the center court, and walking on different levels. It was all very cool and I became very excited," said Webb, 34.
Webb recently took over for David Gott, who left after about three years to manage a larger mall in Sunrise, Florida, near Fort Lauderdale. Gott had been Woodfield's first general manager under new owner Simon Property Group.
Webb, a graduate of Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa, started his career by managing an apartment building. His older brother suggested he also look into management of shopping malls, which piqued his interest, Webb said.
Webb now has worked for Simon for about six years and has managed its shopping centers in Washington, Texas, Florida and, most recently, California.
After working at various malls for Simon, Webb was immediately attracted to Woodfield, when he heard there was an opening for general manager a few months ago.
He accepted the position before coming to Schaumburg in June to look at the property. Woodfield includes about 300 retail stores, including anchors Lord & Taylor, Macy's, Nordstrom, J.C. Penney and Sears, along with various entertainment and restaurant sites.
He is responsible for mall operations, tenant relations, leasing, marketing, business development, security and customer service.
He's also used to renovation projects, similar to the recently completed $13.9 million facelift at Woodfield, with the other malls he has managed.
Besides getting to know the mall tenants, he's been in the community meeting officials and other business leaders, including those with the Schaumburg Business Assocation.
"This is one of the biggest malls in the country and with its
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recent renovations, it allows us to be a top tourist destination," Webb said.
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