RIDGELAND, MS (WLBT) - Renovations are almost complete at Northpark Mall. It’s been 20 years since the mall had a makeover.
"Retail has definitely changed. That's why it was time for us to invest in the property, bring it up to the 21st century and really meet the customer experience needs where they are," said Christy Pender, Marketing and Business Development Manager at Northpark.
There were concerns from the community that the mall was going down. The mall interior was looking dated and stores were leaving.
The mall unveiled the first phase of multi-million dollar redevelopment Saturday. It opened a new family lounge, which has restrooms and nursing stations for parents.
The events began with the unveiling of the Children’s Handprint Tile wall, created in May by over 100 local children, including young patients at Batson Children’s Hospital. The tiles were sold to parents of the participants and proceeds were donated to Batson through a check presentation of $3,600.
Other events throughout the day include a balloon drop, character photos, pumpkin decorating, a petting zoo, storytime, magicians and entertainment.
The family lounge features private nursing areas, baby changing stations, a large child friendly restroom and a variety of amenities to entertain the kids while shoppers relax and recharge.
Near the lounge is a discovery park play area for kids. Discovery Park is a nature inspired interactive children’s zone based on local butterfly species and flora, including the magnolia.
The renovations are something shoppers say is long overdue.
"I love it. The last area was kind of cluttered. It was in the food court and kids like running around," said Cazzy Williamsezejiolo.
Mall managers are putting in new floors, new entrances, new directories. The mall will also have virtual shoppers and wifi. Managers are hoping the upgrades will bring more businesses to the area.
All of the renovations are expected to be complete by November 15 and Northpark will host a grand reopening celebration of The New Northpark from November 15-18, in time for the official kick-off of the holiday shopping season.