Upper Valley Mall adds Toys "R" Us, other retailers

By mid July, Toys “R” Us will return to Springfield with a location next to the CVS Pharmacy. The toy giant, previously located in a now-shuttered free-standing store on North Bechtle Avenue, closed a number of stores a few years ago, but has recently made the move back into some communities by relocating in malls, according to Carla Miller, spokeswoman for the mall.

The Children’s Place, a children’s specialty apparel retailer, will inhabit the space that formerly housed Waldenbooks and an adjacent space.

In the past few months, other new tenants have come into the mall.

Mr. Cookie is an independently owned cookie and ice cream shop.

Blessings by the Basket Flowers and Gifts, a locally owned floral shop, was formerly located on Plum Street.

OMG! is a budget-priced women’s accessory store, with many items available for $1.

The majority of the mall’s retail space is presently filled and talks are underway to fill some of the remaining available spaces, one of which is a large space vacated by Steve and Barry’s when the chain declared bankruptcy in late 2008.

“Simon is currently in negotiations with one retailer to fill the entire 31,000 square feet that used to be Steve and Barry’s. They are also talking to four other potential tenants. Almost every empty store is currently under negotiation,” Miller said.

She hopes to be able to announce additional new retailers within a few weeks.

The mall is owned by the Simon Property Group Inc., which has its headquarters in Indianapolis.

According to the company’s website, Simon is the largest real estate company in the U.S. and owns or has an interest in more than 380 properties.

While the mall has seen its share of struggles over the past few years, the company is committed to Clark County, said Clark County Commissioner John Detrick.

“Simon is working hard through their local management to attract high-quality tenants that will bring more shoppers to the mall. ... This expansion shows Clark County is a drive-to-shopping destination,” he said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 328-0371 or elroberts@coxohio.com.