Superheroes and zombies are on the move.
The comics and collectibles at Comix Connection will soon move a few doors away when the store relocates inside the West Manchester Mall.
Owner Ned Senft said his store is moving so it can stay open as long as possible during construction, and other stores in the mall are doing the same.
A $47 million redevelopment plan is under way that will change the mall from an enclosed retail center to an outdoor shopping hub, similar to Hunt Valley Towne Center in Maryland.
Comix Connection is open in its current location all week and will open on Sunday across from Kay Jewelers. Other stores are also moving to the end of the mall near Kohl's, including T.K.'s Nut and Candy Store and GNC.
"They're moving in preparing for construction. They will be able to stay open while redevelopment is taking place," said Tony Ruggeri, co-founder of Dallas-based M&R Investors, which owns the mall.
Ruggeri said no firm construction dates are in place, but the project is expected to be completed in time for this year's Christmas shopping season.
Developers received a demolition and reconstruction permit from West Manchester Township on Feb. 24, said Monica Love, zoning officer for West Manchester Township.
"They can start anytime they're ready to," she said. "It's our understanding they're removing the old Bon-Ton and other middle areas first. The permit allows them to do all the work on the building they want."
Approval is still needed for outparcels planned at the site. West Manchester Township supervisors will review the plan for outparcels at their meeting March 27, and plans will probably be approved at the April meeting, she said.
Ruggeri was tight lipped about which tenants would open at the new site, but he said there's a lot of interest.
"Things are going very well. In today's business climate, things just take longer to finalize," he said.
Senft said he is in negotiations for Comix Connection to be part of the redeveloped mall.
The store has a lot of regular customers, who remained loyal even while the mall suffered through a 32 percent vacancy rate, but there's opportunity for more.
"There's a lot of excitement. With the new (Memorial Hospital) being planned and the new mall, I think it's a real opportunity to attract new customers," Senft said.
Some retailers have decided to close during construction, including Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Bath & Body Works, BonWorth, Claire's, Hallmark, Marcello's Pizza and more.
Hallmark intends to return to the redeveloped site, a district manager said. Plans for the other stores were not disclosed.
The mall's anchor's — Kohl's, Macy's, Regal Cinemas and Walmart — will remain open during construction.
Family Fun Center Arcade, which previously operated across from Regal Cinemas, is relocating to the York Galleria.
The arcade will open in April on the lower level close to Boscov's in a vacant space near the A Entrance, according to Galleria management.
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