Apache Mall prepares for Scheels expansion - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Apache Mall prepares for Scheels expansion

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- City officials reviewed plans Wednesday night for what will replace Sears at the Apache Mall in Rochester. There are also plans for a new restaurant in the north parking lot.

Officials close to the Apache Mall's expansion project say time is precious for moving up as Sears has closed down.

"I've heard they want to start this year," said Logan Tjossem of City Planning and Zoning. "So it kind of depends on when they can get the approvals and break ground. But I think the intention is to start this year."

Moving up from Sears means pushing out. Scheels sporting goods store is replacing Sears and expanding the two story space from 114,000 square feet to 149,000 square feet.

The mall is also seeking to build a 9,000 square foot free-standing restaurant establishment. It has not been determined what business will be moving in there.

With this big development, comes big parking changes. The current parking lot is filled with spaces oriented north and south. The new parking layout would shift to horizontal spaces facing east and west.

The project is a significant one. In fact, the Apache Mall hasn't made this large of an expansion since adding the Macaroni Grill back in 2003.

City planners say the public can make comments at Wednesday's meeting, but it seems most people will embrace the change.

"I haven't received any phone calls or e-mails or anything about this, so it seems to be a welcomed project for the most part," said Tjossem.

The next step for Apache Mall after Wednesday's meeting will be to submit a road study to see how this project will impact traffic flow during construction.

If that gets approved, the proposal will move on to City Council for final passage.

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