Yasmeen Hassan

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) — One city is taking on two issues with one solution: the housing crisis, and the dying retail market. Citrus Heights is working with Sunrise Mall owners on plans for a big remodel.

“I surely would not want to live at the mall. That is one thing I can say for sure,” one resident said, but the idea is not that far-fetched.

A mall in Rhode Island has been transformed to include micro-lofts on the second floor. Now the same could be coming to Citrus Heights. The city is moving forward with plans for a radical remodel of Sunrise Mall.

READ ALSO: Elephant Bar Restaurant At Sunrise Mall Closes; Arden Location Remains Open

Leaders say the mall is one of the city’s biggest economic drivers, but the profits are not what they used to be.

“I remember there was so many people. I’d love going to the mall and it was always super packed but now it’s just been getting less and less,” one shopper said.

City leaders say about 30% of Sunrise Mall is vacant. The latest casualty Elephant Bar is closing down in May.

“There are huge changes in the retail market and we’re definitely seeing that and we’re seeing that here at the local level,” Citrus Heights Economic Development Manager, Meghan Huber, said.

READ: Can Sunrise Mall Survive The Online Shopping Apocalypse?

Now leaders are looking at what’s trending, seeing what works for other similar-sized cities. The remodel could include housing, restaurants, stores, and fitness areas, because the old fashioned mall as we know it, just isn’t driving people like it used to.

“What brings people to these malls and centers now is experience,” Huber said.

This remodel is still in the very early stages. Just coming up with renderings and a plan of what the mall will look like could take up to two years. In the meantime, the mall is going to remain open for business.


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