Mall's Hecht store plans to expand, add third floor

April 25, 1996|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,SUN STAFF

Hecht's department store in The Mall in Columbia is having itself made over.

Owned by the May Department Stores Co., the St. Louis-based retail giant, Hecht's plans to build a third-floor level at the Columbia department store this year, according to Cathy Lickteig, a spokeswoman for Rouse Co., which owns the mall.

The new estimated 60,000-square-foot addition, which would add a third level to the mall for the first time, should be completed by the fall, part of a storewide renovation.

The Hecht's store now has 152,000 square feet of space. Once the third floor is added, employees will move various departments there, said Ms. Lickteig.

And while Hecht's is being expanded as the mall prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in August, Rouse Co. is actively trying to attract at least one other anchor department store to the mall, Ms. Lickteig said.

"We're working very hard to bring in another store," she said. She was not able to give specifics because no deals have been made. "It's a tight market."

Last year, Alexandria, Va.-based retailer Woodward & Lothrop went bankrupt and closed its store in the mall along with its other stores in the Baltimore-Washington area.

Woodward & Lothrop was one of the mall's original anchors and had been there for 25 years. After the retailer went bankrupt, its Columbia store and its other outlets were converted to J. C. Penney stores.

Pub Date: 4/25/96

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