A powerhouse developer in Western New York will play a major role in the redevelopment of the struggling Eastern Hills Mall in Clarence.
Amherst-based Uniland Development closed on a deal today to become co-owners of the shopping center with Mountain Development.
Uniland calls the deal the first step toward bringing the 80-acre complex back to life as a 'town center' that will mix stores and restaurants with entertainment options, apartments and condos. The Buffalo News, citing county documents, reports Uniland paid $14.5 million to Mountain Development.
The redevelopment process will be a lengthy one. Uniland said shoppers will not see any physical changes to the Transit Road mall until a master plan is complete in two to three years. It will be working behind-the-scenes during that time with Mountain Development to line up new businesses for the site.
"Since it will become Western New York's first 'Live, Work, Play' development, it's an excellent opportunity for all types of businesses and multifamily residents to participate in the unique aspects of a very large and professionally managed community, especially before design and construction are underway," said Chuck Breidenback, managing director of retail for Mountain Development, which has owned the mall since 2003.
The Eastern Hills Mall has not been immune to the struggles many malls are facing due to increased competition from online retailers. Macy's closed its Eastern Hills Mall location in 2016.
Uniland has set up an information page to hear from businesses and residents interested in taking part in the redevelopment process.