The southern stores of the former Logansport Mall will be demolished in early-to-mid July, bringing it closer to the final design of The Junction at Logansport.
The developer has reached an agreement with Dunham’s Sports — the last remaining store from the days when it was a thriving walk-through mall — to move the store’s entrance to the rear during the demolition.
Park Development LLC of Chicago will install signs to direct people to the temporary entrance, said Joe DiCosola, Park Development’s owner.
Then around July 6 or July 7, the developer will erect a partition wall between Dunham’s and the south part of the mall to protect the sports store.
DiCosola said the wall will take three to four days to build.
“Shortly after that, we will commence tearing down the front of the mall,” he said.
Dunham’s uses about 30,000 square feet, leaving more than 225,000 square feet of retail space vacant since JCPenney left July 31, 2017, and Oak Tree Lane Blades left in April 2019.
The demolition will remove roughly 62,000 square feet of that space, including the area of the mall where people once walked inside.
The plan is to start at the west and east ends of the mall with construction equipment and meet in the middle.
The fronts for the northern stores will become the new face of The Junction at Logansport as they’re rebuilt.
It will become more like a strip mall but have a unifying, decorative theme to it.
Park Development bought the old mall on Feb. 21, 2020, and is operating it under the subsidiary 3900 East Market Street LLC.
Since the purchase, Park Development has brought in Planet Fitness as a tenant for part of the old Sears store on the west end.
That opened in March after renovations were made.
The former JCPenney store on the east side was demolished in January to make room for a hotel.
Sulai Hospitality bought that land and is planning to build a Home2 Suites by Hilton hotel there.
DiCosola said he’ll soon close another deal with another new tenant soon. That will be made public when the deal is finalized.
The original Logansport Mall opened in 1968.
Like many malls, it was experiencing hard times, especially after the economy dipped in 2008 and hurt most of Logansport’s retail stores.
A few years after that, JOANN Fabrics and other stores closed for good.
Then, Sears closed in 2013, Staples closed in 2014 and GNC Nutrition closed just before JCPenney.
In other developments
The mall isn’t DiCosola’s only investment in Logansport.
In May, he bought the buildings at 400 and 408 North Street, the former Masonic Lodge and the former Four County building, respectively.
Now, 408 is revamped and will be ready for three to four business tenants in mid-July, he said.
Depending on the size of the office space someone wants (it’s adjustable), rent can run between $200 a month and $800 a month, with utilities and internet included.
They can be used as a business startup with leases from six months to two years, Dicosola said.
DiCosola said he’d talked with Scott Johnson, owner of Black Dog Coffee and Legacy Outfitters at 116 S. Sixth St., about possible competition with the business incubator Johnson has on the second floor of that business.
From Johnson he learned, “people actually need offices in town,” DiCosola said.
Besides having business space, 408 North also has two apartments: a two-bedroom with a large family room, and a three-bedroom, both starting at about $900.
There were no tenants in it when he bought the building, and he fully renovated the two apartments — from new carpeting to new bathrooms.
DiCosola plans to keep the old Masonic lodge as it is, affordable apartments, although he may petition the state to let him make an addition to it.