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Stores Prepare to Move Out of Westdale Mall

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa In just a few weeks, all but a couple of the stores inside Westdale Mall will pack up and leave.

A $90 million redevelopment project is underway at the mall.

Frew Development Group, which is overseeing the project, notified the specialty stores at the end of December that they'd have to move out by March 31. That'll make room for work to begin on the revamped area, which will include shopping, dining, an outdoor park and walking paths.

J.C. Penney and Younkers are the only current Westdale Mall stores that will stay open throughout the construction.

The other specialty stores are making changes and trying to figure out what they'll do. Some are still up in the air with plans, while others are all set with their next business move.

"There's only a few people who are friends and family that work here, ya know? This is a big mom and pop store," said Locker Room Legends Sales Representative Ted Wilson.

Employees said Westdale Mall has been home to Locker Room Legends for 12 years. Soon enough, however, the workers and all the sports memorabilia will have a new home.

"We are moving to below Younkers at Lindale Mall. It used to be Nook an' Cranny's spot. So we are looking forward to being in a new spot," Wilson said.

A sign on the door tells everyone that they're closing on March 30 and opening at Lindale on May 1.

Visitors don't have to look far to find other signs of stores preparing to part ways with the mall.

At Eddie Bauer, a store-closing sale is underway and red sale balloons are up at Rogers Jewelers.

"There's a lot of customers, our guests -- we call them guests -- that really like us here and they would love for us to stay, and we just can't stay. That's the sad thing," said Manager of Rogers Jewelers Gary Etzel.

Etzel said his store is closing on March 22, leaving four people to find a new job. They said they're directing their customers to go to the Rogers Jewelers at Lindale Mall if they need anything after the Westdale location is closed.

"It's a constant question all of the time. Where are you going? What is the store going to do? Eventually, I would think they want to stay in this area, Rogers does, and the west side. But they don't have a spot for us right now. So, I think if they could ever get this thing going out here, eventually they'll look at it again," Etzel said.

The Popcorn Shoppe's Jan Young has a map showing her customers exactly where they can go to find her colorful popcorn. She expects the doors of their new location in North Liberty to open during the first week of May. She said it'll be right off of Highway 965.

"We are right across from McDonalds," Young said.

She's already packing up the popcorn shop, leaving barrels empty and boxes ready to go.

"It'll be fantastic. Finally, we can start making some money," Young said.

Mall management said they've been working with tenants to help them find new locations.

Again, the common area and specialty stores will be closed as of March 31.

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