Michiana shopping hub gets upgrades

 Michiana's shopping hub is full of new additions.

It has been an eight-month renovation project at University Park Mall.

It started in February and is completed just in time for the shopping season, in an effort to add convenience and comfort to allure shoppers.

The garland is up, the are lights lit, and the bells are ringing.

“It's just a really nice end to the project to bring Santa,” said the manager of the mall, Ryan Ginty.

Santa arrived at the University Park Mall on Friday, but he brought more than gifts this year.

“We did almost everything to the interior of the building,” said Ginty, “…this just makes the mall a more comfortable place, a more convenient place.”

Shoppers will see new floors, a new family restroom, and over one hundred seats added to the food court.

“If you've ever had trouble finding a seat at lunch time, we should be able to accommodate,” said Ginty.

The only thing that could stop shoppers dead in their tracks on Black Friday is their dying phones full of deals, but those days are over.

“You'll literally be able to recharge there with all new charging stations throughout the mall,” Ginty continued to explain.

Shoppers were not the only ones with smiles Friday, President of St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce was present for the ribbon cutting and he was full of excitement.

“Simon continues to invest in this property, because it's one of their strongest properties,” said Jeff Rea, the commerce president.

It is a thirty-five year old mall, but the up-to-date additions prove the local economy is on its way up.

“In other communities, malls aren't making it, they're closing down malls,” said Rea, “And you get more and more quality stores as a result of this great traffic generator that it is.”

Santa brought the traffic tonight and they hope the upgrades will keep the shoppers rushing in.

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