As if by magic, a large empty portion of what was once the Walmart building in Devils Lake on Highway 2 west was transformed into the Ace Hardware Store on Tuesday.
Pooh Arounnothay and his crew from Wendrew Merchandising, out of Eureka Springs, Ark., are in town for a few weeks as they lay out the new store that anchors the new mall.
Arounnothay and approximately a dozen other people from all around the country who make up the crew are putting up display panels and shelving, transforming the large empty space.
According to Reg Herman, the mall’s developer, Tuesday morning the store was empty then Arounnothay and his crew arrived and in a matter of a few hours it looks like a store. “It is amazing to see it happening right before your eyes,” Herman said.
The entire building is a beehive of activity as preparations are being made for one of the stores – Dunn Brothers Coffee – to open very soon on Jan. 18. Others are being prepared for occupancy.
Herman says they are working with quite a variety of merchants to occupy the newly remodeled City Plaza.
Herman points to each unique space being created inside the building and describes the business he hopes will be located in each space. “Here will be a real estate company, there maybe a small-animal veterinarian and in this space, we hope to have a Mexican restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating for diners,” Herman said.
If they all materialize, the mall may be nearly filled, but negotiations continue with most of the potential occupants as the spaces are being prepared for them.
Herman says they are thinking of putting in a space for a small indoor play area for children and a centralized seating area for shoppers and families to enjoy the new mall.
It’s all happening quite fast Herman says and he seems pleased with the progress going on all around the building.
Workmen were using scaffolding and lifts to hang drywall and run wires in several locations in the building. A plumber was working in another space. Workers in the coffeeshop were getting lighting hung.
The building was a beehive of activity everywhere you’d look.
Space remains available in the mall for a convention center, too, should that happen in the future through the city of Devils Lake or a private source.
–Taken from Devils Lake Journal