Plans for the redevelopment of West Manchester Mall are closer to fruition, but developers are still being tight-lipped about the details.
"Every day we get closer, but I'm not sure when the activity level will reach a point where we're comfortable to go public," said Tony Ruggeri, co-founder of M&R Investors, the Texas firm that bought the mall last year.
Dallas-based M&R Investors, owned by Ruggeri and Frank Mihalopoulos, purchased the 750,000-square-foot property for $17.5 million in September.
Since then, with the help of Rock Commercial Real Estate, developers have been working to attract tenants to the mall at 1800 Loucks Road, which is anchored by Kohl's, Macy's, Regal Cinemas and Walmart.
"The reaction from potential tenants has been excellent. We're actively working to put leasing together," Ruggeri said.
He wouldn't name any potential tenants, but one of them might be Red Robin.
Franchisee Lehigh Valley Restaurant Group Inc. recently scrapped plans to open a location in York Township as part of the redevelopment of the former Wright Brothers Lincoln Mercury property along South Queen Street.
Representatives of the franchisee also recently reviewed the West Manchester Mall site, said Jeff Lobach, an attorney with BarleySnyder who handles legal work for the group.
"No lease or letter of intent has been signed, so any other comment would be premature at this time," he said.
Improving visibility: Developers have already begun working to make the site more attractive to future tenants, Ruggeri said.
In December, brush was
being cleared at the mall entrance near Brougher Lane and Carlisle Avenue. During the last few weeks, trees and other untamed brush around the mall property have been removed.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation assisted with some of the clearing, and the York County Conservation District has been overseeing the work.
"Visibility from the highways had gotten so blocked, you couldn't really see any of the store signs on the buildings," Ruggeri said.
Motorists on Route 30 and Carlisle Road can now clearly see the mall, he said.
"As part of the redevelopment, we're improving visibility for whatever tenants may move there," Ruggeri said.
-- Candy Woodall can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.