CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Five months after torrential rains caused part of the roof to collapse, flooding SouthPark Mall, crews are still working to get things back to normal.
On Tuesday, Randy Thomas, general manager of SouthPark Mall, announced that while there are still crews working on the mall's energy management system and the rooftop, for the most part, it's back to business as usual.
The July 20 collapse shut down at least a dozen stores in the mall, Banana Republic and GAP suffering the brunt of the damage. The GAP reopened in a new location within the shopping center just two weeks later.
On the mall-repair road map, Thomas says crews are working on grade improvements to the roof and to replace hundreds of the energy management system's set points throughout the mall that were damaged when the mall's canopy caved.
Additionally, Thomas noted that while every escalator is custom built, and the structural integrity was compromised in the collapse, the new escalators in the affected wing are expected to be operational by year's end. He joked that at least Schindler, the escalator company, is based in North Carolina.
But, Thomas reassured, the overall structural integrity of the mall is safe and sound.
At a SouthPark Chamber event on Tuesday, Thomas hinted that there are big things on the mall's horizon. More specifically, the mall will see several new retailers, some who are breaking in to the Carolina market for the first time.
By the first quarter of 2013, SouthPark mall will be home to at least two new businesses. The first: Hanna Anderson, a high-end baby and children's clothing store. Hanna Anderson boasts supersoft eco-friendly fabrics and prides themselves on their 'legendary' kids pajamas. The opening of the newest Hanna Anderson store is actually delayed because of the cave-in, but Thomas promises the doors will be open by the end of the first quarter.
Another new addition promised to be in store by the end of March 2013 is the German-based luxury brand Porsche Designs.
What else is happening at SouthPark Mall? Banana Republic has not yet reopened their doors since the July roof collapse, but Thomas says the brand plans to open a new concept store in its place.
Girls clothing store, Justice, will not be returning to the mall, nor will Bakers Shoes or Wolf Camera.
In the next year-and-a-half, Thomas guaranteed there will be major announcements regarding the additions of large retailers.