Moreno Valley Mall makeover plan includes space for offices, hotels and housing units

If the city approves the plan, groundbreaking could begin as soon as early 2023.
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. (KABC) -- Like many shopping malls across the country, the Moreno Valley Mall has seen better days.

As some of its buildings sit empty and portions of its parking lot are fenced off, the mall is certainly much different than when it first opened its doors 30 years ago.

"I remember it being a little bit more lively, I mean there were more stores," said Moreno Valley resident Yolanda Mentz. "It's not just this mall. [Galleria at Tyler] was a fantastic place to go to. They closed down Nordstroms and a lot of the other stores we used to like to go to."

Citing numerous setbacks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic - shoppers are ditching visits to the mall for online shopping.

However, there's a glimmer of hope.

Moreno Valley city officials have proposed a plan to remodel the entire facility inside and out.

Anchor stores such as JCPenney and Macy's will remain, but the old buildings that once housed stores like Gottschalks and Sears will be reconfigured to house multiple smaller stores.

According to the city, there will be portions of the mall designated for hotels, offices and plenty of outdoor space.

"That was a major part that the developers wanted, because that's actually how malls are developing now, they're including that indoor-outdoor part, and that's what people like," said Moreno Valley Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez.

He said the facility will also include multi-family and affordable housing.

"We still don't know whether that's going to be condos or whether that's going to be apartments, but that is going to be 1,600 housing units," said Gutierrez.

If the Moreno Valley City Council approves the plan, groundbreaking could begin as soon as early 2023.

For residents who live in the area and shopped in the mall for years, it's exciting.

"I mean at this point, it's only up from here," said one resident.

For a full list of key features of the project's plan, visit the Moreno Valley's website.

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