Gordman’s, Hobby Lobby coming to Valpo in 2013
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent December 18, 2012 3:58PM
Updated: January 20, 2013 6:21AM
VALPARAISO — Two large, new stores will become part of Porter’s Vale shopping center by fall, and that should lead to more smaller shops populating the empty storefronts.
Representatives from Gordman’s department store and from mall owners Lauth Group Inc. appeared before the Site Review Committee on Tuesday.
“With things getting a little better (economically), we’ve been able to secure a couple of anchors,” Joe Downs III, vice president of Lauth, said.
“Now you can market this site with Penney’s and Cinemark and Gordman’s and Party City,” Downs said.
City officials had few comments about the plans for each building, and Valparaiso Planning Director Tyler Kent thanked them for bringing development to the city.
Gordman’s, based in Omaha, wants to begin work on its 50,000-square-foot store at the end of January and have it finished in time for back-to-school shopping, architect Dan Kerns said. The store plans to build on the north end of the mall, east of Cinemark movie theaters.
The chain, similar to J.C. Penney or Kohl’s, sells clothes and home goods at 83 stores across the Midwest, including the Chicago area, Fort Wayne and Evansville.
Downs represented Hobby Lobby, which plans to open a 57,000-square-foot store. To build the store and remain within the footprint of the original plans, Lauth will have to demolish 4,400 square feet of unoccupied smaller shops on the mall’s south side.
The company hopes to start construction in spring.
Kent asked that Hobby Lobby consider more landscaping, similar to what Gordman’s proposed.
With two more anchors in place, Lauth’s plans to market Porter’s Vale at leasing shows, Downs said.