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Elkhart community reacts to Concord Mall plan

The Elkhart community is reacting to the redevelopment plans for Concord Mall. 

It’ll be transformed into an outdoor shopping dining and entertainment hub like nothing else in Michiana. 

Some are seeing dollar signs while others are upset about this change.

“It was great to hear it on the news yesterday night,” frequent shopper Bob Roche said.

Within the next two years, the mall will turn into the Concord Towne Center, with a $50 million renovation completely changing the layout of the mall from indoor to outdoor based, adding new shops and dining,

“I think it would be nice for the Concord Mall to grow and help the community,” Roche said.

That’s exactly what the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce wants to happen.

“It will help. It adds another shopping corridor for residents also, for people who want to visit Elkhart,” Kyle Hannon, president of the Chamber of Commerce said.

Bringing those visitors in is a big goal for the Chamber of Commerce.

In the past, they say some Elkhart shoppers make their way to other malls in Michiana

They hope the draw of a lifestyle hub like the new mall could bring outsiders to Elkhart.

“It’s very convenient for lots of people, close to the US 20 bypass. I think it’ll be attractive to a lot of folks,” Hannon said.

Not everyone shares that opinion.

“I’m thinking it’s kind of a shame,” Kim Conner, a shopper, said.

Conner walks in Concord Mall almost every  day for indoor exercise, something she can’t do in an open air mall.

“Why would you want an outdoor mall in Indiana with the cold?” Conner said. 

However, even Conner agrees, the shopping center needs some updates.

“People still enjoy this mall. They just need a little help,” Conner said.

Although it may not be the form of help folks like Conner prefer, the renovations are already gathering a lot of hype that could turn to dollars.

“Everything has some kind of a trickle-down effect and that would help,” Roche said.
 

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