New stores still opening at Gateway in Springfield

Panera Bread is coming to Gateway Mall. (Creative Commons) Photo credit: Creative Commons

As the Gateway shopping center nears the end of its transformation from an indoor mall built in the 1990s to an open-air facility, new stores continue to open their doors. Rouse Properties, the company that owns the shopping complex, has also changed its name to The Shops at Gateway to coincide with its redesign. Panera Bread was the first new store to open up at Gateway on Aug. 25.

Since then Payless ShoeSource, Maurices and Ulta have all opened their doors.

“Since we opened our doors, the reaction has been great,” Jorge Gonzalez, general manager of Ulta Beauty, said in an e-mail.

According to Gonzalez, the new store gives local residents more options for beauty products.

“It gives Springfield [or] Eugene residents a new place to shop for all their beauty,” said Gonzalez.

Together, the new tenants take up about 100,000 of prime retail space. The shopping center is also updating its outdoor facilities with bike paths, as well as adding refurbished and covered walkways to make public transportation more accessible. According to Skip Sandgren, general manager of The Shops at Gateway, the redevelopment was brought on after multiple big-box stores showed interest in moving in, but needed additional space to be accommodated.

“We decided that we were gonna do a complete uplift of the mall,” Sandgren said.

The Shops at Gateway are currently open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 12 p.m. to 6p.m. on Sundays. Other new and recently opened stores include GameStop, Hobby Lobby and Ross, which opened Oct. 10. The mall also has plans to add 40,000 square feet of outparcel building, which according to Sandgren, are slated to open sometime next year.

Many of the new and recently opened stores are looking to fill positions. Ulta has several jobs available, including merchandise and service coordinator, and beauty advisor. Additionally, the beauty retailer has already hired about 20 new employees.

“Our entire store team is from the local community…with half of the employees being college or beauty school students,” Gonzalez said. Hobby Lobby is also looking to fill positions such as co-manager, while Ross Dress for Less also has open positions.

In regards to the public’s reaction to the new stores and developments at Gateway, Sandgren stated that the changes have been well received.

“I’ve had a great deal of positive feedback,” Sandgren said.

Many new stores are still expected to open in the coming months including Subway, Random Shoes, Nails on Court, Harry Ritchie’s Jewelers and International fitness as well as others. Marshall’s is also expected to open in November, along with Rack Room Shoes and International Fitness.

“Everyone of the new stores has been very successful,” Sandgren said.

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