Vicksburg Mall could see additional restaurant, store

Published 10:06 am Friday, September 2, 2016

The Vicksburg Mall sports businesses for dinning, shopping and play.

Though there have been a few recent departures—and a few longer-term vacancies that still need to be filled — mall manager Mike Carlisle said the mall is fairing better than many and has some possible additions on the horizon.

“We still want to get a few more good stores,” he said. “But it’s an expanded use facility. It’s not just retail.”

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

The vacancy at River City Steak House, which closed in late July, has three potential operators looking to keep the space a restaurant, Carlisle said, noting they hope to have something finalized within the “21-day range.”

“They’ve done everything from visiting to measuring to getting their numbers together,” he said. “Whoever we go forward with will be good for the mall and good for Vicksburg.”

Three main priorities, he said, top his goals for the mall: occupy the steak house, occupy the old Goody’s building and occupy the old Piccadilly location.

Though not a permanent occupancy solution, Carlisle said the haunted house held at the mall since 2012 will be located in the old Goody’s this year. He noted that one entity is interested in the space permanently, but the process has moved slower than expected.

The occupancy rate at the mall stands at 88 percent, Carlisle said, with 7 vacancies.

“A lot of the indoor malls, we’re having to be flexible and imaginative on how we do our leases and who we lease to, like with Alcorn State and Riverbend Eyecare,” he said, noting that rural malls like Vicksburg’s haven’t been as badly affected by the online shopping boom as metro malls but it’s still not easy.

“It’s challenging because Jackson is so close and Monroe is so close,” he said. “But there’s growth coming. I think Vicksburg is in a good position to grow. Who would have thought we would have had a TJ Maxx or a Newk’s or a Hobby Lobby. I know TJ Maxx and Hobby Lobby are doing well, so maybe their competition understands that and will start looking at our area also and start looking for a spot.

“We’re doing what we can to maximize lease space whether that’s (traditional) lease space or part of the parking lot,” he said, referring to the Mutual Credit Union ATM in the parking lot.

He also noted B & B Theaters Mall 6 was looking to remodel its concession area, and the mall itself was looking to update the carpet flooring to something more manageable.

For all the discussion on occupancy, retail and sales, Carlisle said he views the mall as a community space, noting that it has held voter registration, United Way events, events for the Vicksburg Warren School District and events for other nonprofits.

“Whatever we can to do to help,” he said. “Whatever will help Vicksburg that’s what I’m about here.”