D'Iberville Developer Eyeing Singing River Mall

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - Singing River Mall in Gautier could soon be under new management. Encore Retail Company is considering buying the mall and giving it a facelift. While city leaders are saying very little about future plans, shoppers welcome the makeover.

"Singing River Mall right now is a very bland place. It can use a lot of work," William Jordan said.

Jordan may not be a shopping expert, but the teen knows what he wants from his hometown mall. Jordan said empty stores and few shoppers make Singing River Mall boring.

"More productivity, more jobs for people that are around my age that need to work," Jordan said.

And teens aren't the only ones who want more from the longtime shopping center.

"One thing I will comment on is a lot of the citizens in our city want a nice restaurant," Gautier Mayor Pete Pope said.

Mayor Pope said the 564,000 square foot mall needs to be upgraded. Since the mall opened its doors in the 1980s, it has changed ownership several times. Stirling Properties has been leasing and managing the building since 2005.

"I don't think our mall has reached its potential."

Encore Retail, the company behind much of the booming development in D'Iberville, is looking to help Gautier reach its full potential. Encore's President Nicholas Barber told WLOX News, "At this time, the company is analyzing options for renovation of the property. At a future date, the company will make a final determination as to its purchase and renovation plans."

"I had an opportunity to look at the plans, what they are planning for this mall, and I am not at liberty to say at this time. I would rather they disclose this information. But I am extremely pleased with what I see," Mayor Pope said.

Singing River Mall currently has three major anchor stores - Sears, JC Penny, and Belk.