In the shopping center industry it has become the oft-repeated mantra of survival: Stay Relevant. It means more than just ensuring that the lineup of merchants is meeting sales goals. It means doing the hard work of ensuring the mixture of retail, hospitality, entertainment and whatever else that makes up a property is worthy of a regular visits by people in the surrounding area. That has been the focus of the evolution of Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
While one space vacated by an old-line department store was replaced by another, better retailer, another was demolished. In its place, a more popular sporting goods store space rose, along with a new hotel (one of three hotels now on the property). At the same time, outparcels with high visibility from the nearby interstate highway have been filled with new restaurant and service businesses. A positive response was almost immediate from local consumers.
While accessibility to the mall property is excellent, there was a need to connect with other nearby shopping areas and local roadways. Thanks to a good working relationship with local and state government agencies, a connector road was constructed to reach a newly developed parcel where a hotel and restaurant were quickly in place. Even more importantly, the connector road continued over Interstate 70, opening up traffic to a power center.