Broward News

Palm Beach Mall's Plan to Revive Ghost Town: Get Classy

The United States is famous for its ghost towns, like Tombstone, Arizona; Bodie, California; and the Palm Beach Mall.

The latter -- which had most of its property foreclosed on in 2009 -- is doing something to change that.

West Palm Beach is hoping for some ritzy retailers to help rebuild its status in shopping, this time in the form of outlet stores.

Billionaire developer Stephen Karp is the impetus of the impending renovation, planning to buy the entire site and give it the strip-mall makeover.

The Palm Beach Mall is around 55 miles from the nearest outlet center, Sawgrass Mills, which drew the interest of developers.

Nothing is yet set in stone for the development to begin, but some of the deals to get retailers at the location are already under way.

They haven't exactly gotten the nod from the more-upscale retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and Neiman Marcus, but they do have a few stores penciled in already.

TJ Maxx, Bed Bath & Beyond, Christmas Tree Shops, Burlington Coat Factory, and H&M were among the retailers on the developers' rendering list.

What the developers are hoping is that the upscale retailers will hop on board once others start to show more interest, but Karp told the Palm Beach Post he's optimistic that he'll be able to seal some of the deals.

JCPenney -- the only store currently open at the mall aside from George's Music -- says it plans on staying there.

The property -- which is said to be worth between $30 million and $35 million -- measures 1 million square feet, and the developer's plan is to open the new outlet mall in 2013.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley