New stores coming soon to Mall Of Monroe

New stores coming soon to Mall of Monroe

Suzanne Nolan Wisler

The Monroe News     March 9, 2023

Five new stores are coming soon to the Mall of Monroe.

“Approximately 70% of stores (on a square footage basis) are occupied or in construction for future openings. Discussions are ongoing for future new tenants,” said Tim Matune, senior vice president for asset redevelopment for The Cafaro Co. of Niles, Ohio. “The future is bright for The Mall of Monroe.”

Stores opening soon are:

  • Ragnarok Supply and Motorworks, which is expected to open in the summer or fall.

The business will offer more than 51,000 square feet of high-end hunting, fishing and camping equipment with firearms, Matune said. “Plus, the sale and service of ATVs and dirt bikes with a four-bay facility for the installation of Line-X truck accessories.”

  • CubeSmartis planned for the summer or fall.

CubeSmart will offer 78,826 square feet of indoor, climate-controlled storage with a retail store for the sale of storage and moving supplies, Matune said.

  • Castaway Eats and Treats, a fast service food court tenant, will open in about two months and will sell sandwiches, subs, paninis, pizza, barbecued foods, pretzels, ice cream, cookies and snacks.
  • Disctopia, planned to open April 1, will sell records, anime, videos, video games and all other types of media.
  • The Mystery Shop, coming in May, will feature hand-made, artisan-quality, home décor-related antiques and locally made food products.

Several stores recently opened at the Mall of Monroe:

  • Domka Outdoors: A 57,000 square-foot business featuring firearms, ammunition, archery bows, crossbows, fishing equipment and tackle, professional repair and design services, and the presentation of leagues, competitions, seminars and birthday parties.
  • MCF Market: Goods from local artisans and vintage collectors.
  • Your PC Doctor, Electronics and More: New consumer electronic items, such as computers, gaming items and equipment, car audio equipment, air conditioners, and computer repair and service.
  • Katalina’s Kitchen: Operated by the Ayala family, the business is a fast service food court selling authentic Mexican food.
  • Monroe Community Players: Newly designed and constructed studio theater for presenting plays and performances.
  • Wonderworld Comics: Sale and exchange of comic books, toys, games, sports cards, and Japanese anime and manga.
  • Pinball and Classic Arcade: New and classic style-pinball machines and arcade games for players of all ages for recreation and tournament play.

Other Mall of Monroe businesses are: Phoenix Theatres, Bath & Body Works, Planet Fitness, Shoe Department, Pillar Performance (featuring high-intensity cross-fit and athletic performance training including hockey), Spencer’s, Color Beauty Supply, Claw Kicker, Wu Ji Acupressure, Champion Force Cheerleading and Tumbling, Custom Designed Clothing by Amu & Ani, Brow Shapes, and Family and Friends Funland.

Also open at the Mall of Monroe are: Leviathan Offices, the Humane Society of Monroe County and Monroe City Church.

Space remains available.

“Unlike many other malls that closed in similar sized markets, The Mall of Monroe survived the retail apocalypse, the demise of many department stores and COVID,” Matune said. “Our on-site staff maintains the property and provides security according to the highest standards in the business. Should anyone wish to open a hair care salon, a move-in quality, fully outfitted salon is available. The mall also has 68 acres of undeveloped property for development for commercial, housing, institutional, etc.”

The Cafaro Co. is the parent organization of the Frenchtown Square Partnership. In 1987, Cafaro built The Mall of Monroe (formerly Frenchtown Square Mall) and has operated the property ever since. The Mall of Monroe is at 2121 N. Monroe St.




Major Reconstruction at Mall Of Monroe


January 11, 2023





Joe Bell                                                                        Timothy J. Matune

Director of Corporate Communications                            Sr. Vice President Asset Redevelopment

Cafaro Company                                                           Cafaro Company                                                  

330-743-7688                                                                 330-747-2661 Ext. 344

724-730-4532 (Mobile)                                                  734-242-9151


Major Reconstruction Underway at

The Mall of Monroe


As promised, the ongoing redevelopment of The Mall Of Monroe continues.  The latest step in the process involves construction activity to fulfill the needs of two major businesses, Cubesmart and Ragnarok Supply & Motorworks.

Demolition work is now underway in the 78,000 square foot space that will house Cubesmart.  The space was originally used as a Sears store.  By the middle of this year, it will be transformed into a climate-controlled self-storage facility with approximately 500 storage units.  As part of the $4 million project, there will also be a retail store that will offer moving and storage supplies.

Reconstruction work is also about to get underway inside a 51,000 space for Ragnarok Supply & Motorworks.  This space, the former location of a Pat Catan’s hobby store, will be divided into two distinct areas.  Automotive service bays will be constructed, where skilled technicians will customize vehicles for outdoor and specialized purposes. The remainder of the space will house an outdoor supplies retail store.  Ragnarok is tentatively scheduled to open for business by late spring.

The ongoing redevelopment of The Mall Of Monroe has created a true multi-purpose community center, with a variety of retail, recreational, entertainment and other businesses under one roof.  Currently, planning is underway to introduce even more new businesses, with announcements scheduled in the coming months.

The Mall Of Monroe has been serving the people of southeast Michigan since 1988.  It is located at 2121 North Monroe Street in Frenchtown Township, Michigan.  For more information, visit online at  The Mall Of Monroe is owned and managed in association with the Cafaro family of companies, based in Niles, Ohio.  One of the nation’s largest privately held shopping center developers, the Cafaro organization has, over the years, developed more than 30 million square feet of commercial real estate in 14 states.  For more information, visit






Mall of Monroe fills anchor spots with new tenants

Mall of Monroe fills anchor store spots with new tenants

Tyler Eagle

The Monroe News  April 3, 2022

The company that owns the Mall of Monroe will soon achieve a longstanding goal: the largest spaces at the shopping center on North Monroe Street will once again be occupied.

For the first time in more than a decade, anchor stores that have stood vacant will become homes to new enterprises.

It’s a significant accomplishment, said Joe Bell, director of corporate communication at Cafaro, the company that owns the mall. He credits the milestone to the work of Cafaro’s leasing agents. The new tenants are representative of a wide array of businesses and reflect the new, mixed-used community center vision for the property, Bell added.

“The process of attracting new anchor tenants has always been challenging — it’s not unusual for negotiations to take years to complete,” Bell said. “Fortunately, our leasing executives have developed great relationships within the retail industry; they are also very resourceful in envisioning new uses for space that might be popular in the community.

“We are building a mixed-use business community that reflects the economic diversity of the local Monroe/Frenchtown economy.”

Cubesmart, a Florida-based real estate company, has acquired a more than 78,000-square foot space in what was formerly a Sears store.

The venture will repurpose the space into a facility boasting climate-controlled storage units. The company is investing $4 million into its new space, with an anticipated opening later this year.

Ragnarok Supply Company and Ragnarok Motorworks will move into the former Pat Catan’s craft store. The companies will provide outdoor supplies and opportunities to customize vehicles for specialized, off-road use.

Local entrepreneur Jacob James took control of the 51,100-square foot space. James also operates his other company, Leviathan, from the mall. It specializes in making props for film, television and stage productions.

Next month, Domka Outdoors will move into the 56,800-square foot space formerly occupied by Carson’s. Owners David Domka and Erin Aubrecht are relocating their business at the former Horizon Outlet Center in Monroe Charter Township to the new space.

The business specializes in equipment and apparel for outdoor activities such as fishing and archery. The business will install an archery range at its space.

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The largest space — the former Target space that is approximately 97,000 square feet — has been bought by Quality Auto Parts, an automative part distribution company based in Detroit.

Bell said that particular development was possible through Target selling the space. Though attached to the mall, the national retailer owned the building, meaning Cafaro could not lease the space out. The company recently sold the parcel.

“Other than operating our adjacent properties together pursuant to an agreement, we have no influence on the former Target parcel,” Bell added.

Cafaro has been spearheading a campaign to revitalize the property. Company officials have long said they see potential in curating a center that provides businesses not traditionally found in a mall.

“It’s really a multi-faceted approach,” Bell said. “The best way to describe it is to reflect on what needs exist in the community,  identify entrepreneurs who can fulfill those needs and demonstrate to them how they will find success at the mall.”

Like large, multi-retails spaces across the country, the Mall of Monroe began seeing a steady exodus of stores during the last several years.

In the wake of a cyber attack that compromised sensitive financial data, Target closed several stores nationally in 2015. The Monroe location, which was one of the most popular attractions at the mall, was selected.

In the ensuing years, smaller stores and larger anchor stores followed suit, including locations such as FYE; American Eagle; Aeropostale; Books-A-Million; Gamestop; DEBS; Claire’s; President Tuxedo and others.

High profile exits such as Carson’s and Pat Catan’s left large spaces vacant, and several stretches of storefronts in the mall unoccupied.

Shifting consumer trends have caused havoc among retailers and it has become increasingly common for large retail spaces to sit vacant for stretches of time, Bell said.

High-profile bankruptcies by former traditional mall tenants such as Sears, JCPenney and Elder-Beerman have had an impact. It’s also highlighted how difficult it is to find companies in need of such spaces, Bell added.

The addition of new anchor tenants will help drive more traffic to the mall, he said.

“With the struggles of traditional department stores and the rise of discounters and on-line shopping, surviving traditional department stores are concentrating on populous major metropolitan areas,” Bell said. “We are identifying successful local businesses who wish to place their operations in a larger, professionally managed environment not readily available in the Monroe market.”

The ongoing pandemic also has had an impact. Like most shopping centers, the Mall of Monroe was closed for months as a result of statewide regulations and mandates handed down as the state managed its response to the coronavirus.

Businesses deemed unessential were shuttered and unable to operate. And after they were able to reopen after months of closure, an ongoing labor shortage persisted.

“The problem was not the disease itself, but the draconian shutdowns and mandates that came from politicians,” Bell said. “In retrospect, did shutting down all those businesses do anything to stop the virus from spreading? Of course not.

“Retailers have been having a hard time finding the staffing they need. The labor shortage was created by a combination of factors.”

Some legacy businesses have maintained their space. Phoenix Theatres operates several screens and its Encore giant screen at the mall. Businesses such as Spencer’s, Planet Fitness, the Shoe Dept. and Bath and Body Works also remain in the shopping center.

A slew of new enterprises have also moved in. Monroe City Church opened earlier this year, and hosts several hundred worshippers weekly in the former Carson’s Home Store.

Flashback Antiques, and Gifts and Custom Designs by Amu and Ani, which opened during the pandemic, have recently upgraded to larger spaces. Color, which has long been at the mall, expanded into two storefronts.

The Monroe Community Players have crafted a theater space for productions and is headquartered in the mall. Ulekstore’s Pinball Arcade and Pillar Performance are also recent tenants.

Additional ventures are on the way, Bell said.

Katalina’s Kitchen will soon open, marking the return of a dining option at the vacant food court. The last remaining eatery, Mrs. Fields, closed earlier this year.

Wonderland Comics also will open this year, taking the space formerly occupied by Flashback before it moved to a new space.

Bell said Cafaro plans to continue attracting new enterprises, leaning heavily into the versatility of its spaces.

The mall has room to accommodate more retail, entertainment, service and office spaces, he said, adding that the property also has 68 vacant acres that can also be developed for additional uses.

Tim Matune, senior vice president of asset development at Cafaro, has worked in the industry for 38 years. He said the Monroe County market is stable.

“The redevelopment of The Mall is a recognition of the need to adapt to changing circumstances,” Matune said. “We will once again be a place of assembly for the (community), but with different offerings.”