SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Eastfield Mall is gearing up to add new business and residential living as part of their proposed Eastfield Commons Project.
Tuesday morning, Western Mass News got an inside look at some of those changes and got the latest details on a Halloween tradition that takes place at the mall.
“We’re going to reinvent the entire property, including the parking lot. Everything will be new from the ground up,” Property Manager David Thompson said.
This is exciting news for shoppers at the Eastfield Mall in Springfield.
As part of the properties proposed Eastfield commons project, the mall is looking to add new retail stores, a manufacturer and distributor for cannabis, and apartment buildings for multi- and single-family living.
This comes as both the Cinemark movie theater and the 99 Restaurant both closed down during the pandemic.
Thompson said they are adjusting to the changes and are hopeful for the future of the mall.
“99 did not renew their lease with us, caught us a little bit by surprise,” he said. “Cinemark left us and they gave no notice and pretty much left us, picked up and left. Since the day after that, we’ve been working diligently with a potential replacement.”
He said the mall is also in talks with the new owner of the former Sears space.
“Eastern Realtor out of Braintree, Mass. and we’ve had several conversations with them and they are excited as well,” he said. “They promised they are going to put back national retail back in the Sears building or perhaps build from the ground up.”
The mall’s landscape is not the only thing changing this year.
Jess Kloss, the marketing manager for Eastfield Mall, said their trick-or-treating tradition, “Mall-o-ween” is canceled this year due to coronavirus restrictions.
“There's just no way for us to do it socially distant and keep all the families that come to visit us during that event safe,” she said.
Western Mass News spoke with some parents at the mall and while some said it was the right decision to cancel Mall-o-ween..emotions are mixed.
“If we can walk around the mall and shop, why can't they do that? Everything is being taken away,” said Grace Morin
“I'm sad for the kids,” said Alexandria Harrington. “I think the kids will be really disappointed. They are looking forward to Halloween this year and to get out of the house and do something fun. So it’s disappointing that they can’t.”
While Mall-o-ween is canceled this year, Santa is still scheduled to make an appearance.
“Santa is not canceled,” Kloss said. “He will be here starting Dec. 12, and we are super excited. It's going to be a little of a different experience. You're not going to be able to sit on his lap. You might have a partition between you guys but you still will be able to bring your letters and see Santa and take your pictures with him.”