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Worthington Redeveloping Former Mall Area

worthington, mn - Dozens of malls have closed over the past decade, including a former shopping hot spot in Worthington, Minnesota.

A developer is now looking into a plan to bring new life to the area.

Here are the development details.

When you enter a mall, you probably don't expect to find a leaking roof and caution tape. However that's exactly what customers saw at the mall in Worthington before crews demolished it.

"It was vibrant," Worthington Mayor Mike Kuhle said.

Kuhle remembers the glory days of the Northland Mall.

"There were around 40 stores in there thriving," Kuhle said.

Several of the stores closed, and the mall's out-of-state owner let it fall into disrepair. That's when a local developer bought the property and decided to tear the mall down.

"At one time, the mall was a viable option, but in these days people are looking for smaller strip places and a different environment," Kuhle said.

So far, a car dealership has opened in the old mall area. Work will also soon start on a convenience store, and Runnings is going to move there. The new building will be almost three times bigger than the current Worthington location.

"They're going to add an additional 20 employees. The clothing, firearm and sporting goods departments are all going to be much larger," Kuhle said.

In addition to businesses, the developer also plans to take 15 acres and turn it into housing.

"We're almost zero occupancy in our rentals in town, so housing is a huge need," Kuhle said.

A need that no longer involves a mall.

"It's a great public-private partnership in redeveloping this whole property. It took a while, but we're getting there," Kuhle said.

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