"It just shows that this community is worth coming to... it's important for us to have a vibrant and quality mall."
-- Mark Kieselbach, Dir. Planning & Development, Meridian Township
The Meridian Mall is getting ready to welcome the popular H&M clothing retailer, making it the eighth location in the state, and the first in Mid-Michigan.
The Swedish-based company will be moving into a space near the JCPenney likely sometime early next year, according to Mark Kieselbach, director of community and planning development for Meridian Township.
However, mall officials would not confirm the date.
Shoppers we spoke with said they are looking forward to having additional options at the mall.
"I think it'll be awesome, it's super exciting," said Mika Robertson. "I love that store."
Leah Appicelli said she thinks the new store will benefit the entire mall.
"I think it's going to make the mall busier, pick up the foot traffic and I think it's a good thing," she said. "Hopefully people stay around here more often, it'd be better for businesses already in the mall."
The addition of H&M to the mall is a good indicator of what else could soon be coming to the area, according to Kieselbach.
"It's good to see these national tenants picking, not only Meridian Township, but the region as an area to go," he said. "It's just a plus for everybody."
Planet Fitness plans to open a gym in the mall after the start of the new year, and an expansion of the mall near JCPenney is also in the works, according to Kieselbach.
"It just shows that this community is worth coming to," he said. "It's important for us to have a vibrant and quality mall."
The Township Board Tuesday evening discussed the proposal to build an additional 19,000 square feet of space onto an existing vacant area of the mall to create a 50,000 square-foot retail space for a yet to be named national retailer.
"Where in America is anybody expanding a mall," said Township Trustee Milton Scales. "It means we must be doing something right here."
The expansion will likely come up for a vote during the next township board meeting in December where Scales said he expects it to be approved.
Beyond the mall, Tuesday night the township board also voted to approve plans for a new 96-room Marriott Hotel on Hannah Blvd. near Hagadorn.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods is still planning to open a store in a few years on Grand River Ave. in the township, but those plans still have to be approved by the township board.