A new major tenant is coming to St. Clair Square, but officials aren't ready to release the company's name, according to Fairview Heights Mayor Mark Kupsky.
He shared the good news Thursday with nearly 100 business people, city employees and other residents at a luncheon sponsored by Metro-East Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Kupsky acknowledged that people in the community have been concerned about vacant storefronts at the mall, but he called some of them "planned vacancies" that are part of a master plan.
"They are moving tenants around to make space for one very large tenant that will be located inside of the mall, and that will happen later this year," he said.
"On paper, they are 100 percent leased," Kupsky added.
St. Clair Square is owned and managed by CBL & Associates Properties. Michael Hagen, the mall's general manager, said Thursday afternoon he couldn't yet make an announcement on the new tenant.
The tenant is "big" and "good for the mall," he said.
Some but not all of the mall's vacancies were planned, Hagen said. Some resulted from retailer bankruptcies.
"But if those wouldn't have occurred, we may have had to move out other tenants," Hagen said. "We had to make room for this retailer."
The luncheon at the Holiday Inn in Fairview Heights included a State of the City address by Kupsky, a State of the Village address by Swansea Mayor Mike Leopold and comments by Paul Ellis, Fairview's new economic development director.
Like Kupsky, Ellis was upbeat about the mall's new tenant, but he declined to name the company. The announcement could come "any day," he said.
At the luncheon, Kupsky called St. Clair Square "very healthy."
"Our mall's rated second in the St. Louis area right now," he said. "CBL owns it. They're making huge investments."