Future uncertain for Concord Mall

Concord Mall // WSBT 22

Concord mall has been a staple in Elkhart county since the 70s, but now its future is uncertain.

There were big plans to redevelop that mall announced in 2016. But those plans seem to be on hold.

What has happened in the last two years to put a stop to the redevelopment? The big yellow sign that says “closing” on top of Carson's is part of the reason.

The retail landscape is changing, and officials say it's hard – especially for this mall – to keep up.

Two years ago there was a $50 million plan announced to make the mall into a destination mixed-use space.

“I shop in Mishawaka because there's nothing really over here and I was really excited about all the new shops that they were going to bring over this way,” said Kelly Muniz, Elkhart resident.

But according to the mall's consulting company, those plans are on hold.

“It's really been difficult to attract investment dollars to sites like Concord Mall,” said Keith stark with ConsortiumCRE.

He says the retail market is changing. More people are shopping online and Concord Mall has seen some closings.

“Then as you lose something like Carson's, it is a significant anchor of the property.”

People WSBT 22 spoke with say they'd shop there if there was a variety of stores.

“If you had better stores and more kids interested in coming, you're not going to have to worry about the other stores wanting to leave because there's going to be plenty of overflow business,” said Muniz. “I would like to see more shops going in there. It's such a great location. It's halfway between Goshen and Elkhart and I'd like to see it thrive.

“Well I hope that they stay there and I hope they get some more shops in there,” said Carol Gouaer.

And the goal is to keep the nearly 50-year-old Mall a part of the future, but right now what the future holds for it is unclear.

“Significant change is imminent,” said Stark. “We just don't know what that change looks like. We are not trying to change it. We have to change it in order for it to remain vibrant.”

We did reach out to the owners of Concord Mall, but they did not get back to us.

Stark says that if there isn't enough interest in investments in the mall, it's a possibility that it could close.

He says it's happening all over the country.

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