Roosevelt Square’s Belk to close

Department store chain Belk, with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, announced early in July it would close its Westside location in late December, early January.

“We decided to close our Belk store at Roosevelt Mall in Jacksonville, Florida in January 2017 after a careful evaluation of our business plans and competitive position in this market. We believe closing the store is in the best long-term interests of Belk,” said Jessica Graham, Belk vice president, communications and community relations. “The closing was announced to our 51 associates at the Jacksonville store. All of the associates in good standing were offered a transfer to another store, and any who do not choose to transfer will be offered a severance package.”

The store at the Roosevelt Square shopping center is one of five Belks in northeast Florida. It has served Westside customers since 1998, when Belk took over the building that had housed a Gayfers store at the time the mall was converted to an open air shopping center. Publix and Stein Mart are the other primary tenants in the center, which has been owned by Dewberry Capital of Atlanta since 1997.

When Dewberry Capital bought Roosevelt Mall almost 20 years ago, it was in distressed circumstances even though it was just 16 years old. The company’s website indicated mismanagement and lack of maintenance caused the mall to suffer.

Dewberry Capital completed redevelopment of the shopping center in 2003, but after the economic downturn in 2008 the center suffered from tenant turnover. Within the past 18 months, a Verizon Wireless agent and a Curves fitness club closed, Starbucks relocated further north on Roosevelt Boulevard, and the children’s boutique, Kennedi’s Closet, relocated to the Shoppes of Avondale.

In the past couple of years, however, new tenants have come in, including Metro Diner, Chase Bank, Orange Theory Fitness, uBreakiFix, Great Clips and Kids First Dentistry. A large space to Stein Mart’s north is the temporary home for a Halloween costume store for about eight weeks each year.

By Kate A. Hallock
Resident Community News

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