By Jeff Gallatin
Westfield Great Northern Mall officials have some nice holiday presents lined up for patrons in the coming weeks.
Mall officials said the multimillion-dollar expansion at the mall – which includes a 10-screen Regal Cinemas movie complex, Mama Fu’s Asian House, The Rail restaurant and Le Grand Orchid Salon & Spa in the area formerly occupied by the old food court – is proceeding on schedule. North Olmsted City Council at its Nov. 6 meeting approved the improvements for the area.
Afterward, mall marketing Director Annie Dorsey said the work continues to progress smoothly.
“The new main mall entrance by Sears is opening up Nov. 15,” she said. “The restaurants will be ready on or around Dec. 1 as planned.”
In addition, the Regal movie complex also will be opening in the middle of December, Dorsey said, noting patrons will able to see the different holiday release movies at the Great Northern facility.
“We’ll be releasing more details shortly on the different changes,” she said.
Dorsey said some other longtime holiday favorites also will be arriving at the mall shortly.
“Santa arrives Nov. 16, and the mall will be in full holiday mode as of Nov. 16,” she said.
At a council Building, Zoning and Development Committee meeting prior to the full council meeting, North Olmsted city officials also lauded Westfield and its cooperation with the city and its residents during its ownership of the mall. Earlier this year, the Westfield group sold Great Northern and five other malls to the Starwood Capital Group as part of a $1.6 billion transaction between the two business entities. Corporate officials have said the final portions of the deal should be completed during the final quarter of 2013.
“It’s like the passing of an era,” Kim Wenger, North Olmsted’s planning and development director, said. “You have always been good partners with the city and the community.”
Mayor Kevin Kennedy said he also appreciates Westfield’s work, and has been impressed by his initial contacts with the new owners. He said he’s glad the local management officials are scheduled to be retained, saying they are a major reason it’s been a successful partnership between the city and the mall.