ALTON — July 1 marked a new opportunity for the city of Alton as Hull Property Group announced its acquisition of Alton Square Mall.
Having 40 years of experience specializing in retail real estate, HPG has a history of revitalizing underperforming enclosed malls and shopping centers in smaller markets.
With the addition of 638,895 square feet of retail space, Alton Square has helped the Hull Group grow to 11 million square feet, including 21 enclosed malls across nine states.
“I am extremely excited about this opportunity for the Alton Square Mall,” Alton Mayor Brant Walker said. “Hull Property Group is experienced in retail and has an excellent track record in helping malls such as ours thrive. I met with the Hull Group before the sale closed. They (HPG) have tremendous energy and a great vision.”
Bringing jobs to Greater Alton is one of the most attractive possibilities the Hull Group can provide with their purchase of the mall.
“This has the potential to make a big impact on our community within the job market,” Walker said. “The more retail that fills the empty spaces, the more jobs that will be filled from our local communities. The Hull Group has experience, the connections and with their impressive track record, I believe they can bring those attractive major retailers to Alton.”
Hull Group Marketing Director Coles Doyle said the HPG team is eager to see the growth planned for Alton Square.
“We have a team assembled that is researching the area market and putting together information on possible retail options,” Doyle said. “Right now we’re going to have a soft management team, but the option to hire some local managers is an area we’re exploring. We’re considering the types of tenants that will best fit the Alton market and who will make the best fit for the region.”
The mall recently announced the addition of Ross to occupy 28,000 square feet. The store is scheduled to open in mid-July and joins Hibbett Sports and a newly renovated Maurice’s as recent additions to the mall. Moving forward, Hull Property Group’s leasing team will manage new leasing efforts. The team says it has strong relationships with national retailers, often bringing big-name retailers to smaller markets they wouldn’t otherwise consider.
“It is important for a community to have a vibrant and prosperous regional mall,” said Jim Hull, managing principal of Hull Property Group. “We believe that the Alton Square Mall has the potential to thrive, but it will take a collective effort with support from local leaders, the community and key property stakeholders including Macy’s, JCPenney and Ross to transform the mall into a shopping destination that makes Alton proud.
“We are long-term owners and are ready for the hard work ahead. We want to become an engaged member of the Alton community and it is promising to see the early support from Mayor Brant Walker, Economic Development Director Greg Caffey and other Alton leadership who share our long term vision for the mall.”
The mall is Hull Property Group’s first retail property in Illinois and expands the company’s geographic reach to the Midwest. Established in 1977, Hull Property Group is one of the largest privately owned retail real estate companies and is headquartered in Augusta, Ga.