Next year West Manchester Mall will have a new name, new look and new stores.
The 32-year-old shopping hub at 1800 Loucks Road is set for a $47 million redevelopment that will change it from an enclosed mall to an outdoor plaza similar to Hunt Valley Towne Center in Maryland.
Construction is expected to be completed next year, said Tony Ruggeri, co-founder of Dallas-based M&R Investors, which owns the mall.
"There's a lot of ground to cover between now and starting contruction," he said.
Ruggeri said it's difficult to nail down a specific timeline because developers are coordinating with West Manchester Township, York County, retailers and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
"We're hoping everything is open in 2014," Ruggeri said.
As part of the overhaul, developers will tear down part of the mall and create an outdoor shopping plaza with common areas and pad sites that will host additional retailers.
The mall's anchors-Kohl's, Macy's, Regal Cinemas and Walmart-will not close during construction.
But because the inside of the mall will be demolished, the stores inside may be affected. However, no timeline has been determined.
Comix Connection owner Ned Senft said he is in negotiations to keep his comic book store in the mall.
M&R Investors purchased the mall for $17.5 million in September 2012 and hired Rhino Realty Group, Inc. to act as a leasing agent and attract retailers to the 32-percent vacant mall.
On its website, the agency is inviting retailers to join what will become West Manchester Town Center.
The owners have received a lot of interest from retailers, but Ruggeri wouldn't confirm any companies that have signed leases.
"We're exploring a lot of different options. We have a lot of land-95 acres-so we're not excluding any potential users," he said.
Their focus is largely on retailers, restaurants, banks and service-type retail, Ruggeri said.
Any new stores that sign a lease to be part of the new shopping center will open once the redevelopment is complete, he said.
Many Yorkers weighed in Wednesday when plans were announced, sharing which stores they'd like to see open on the west side of town. The majority of requests were for Trader Joe's, Wegmans and Whole Foods. Others asked for a mix of high-end retail or stores open throughout the east side of York in Springettsbury Township.
"We would love to have them too," Ruggeri said. "The reality is, in some cases, retailers feel they're not able to move to a particular market."
There may also be limitations because of existing leases that prevent developers from talking to certain types of retailers, he said.
But part of why M&R Investors bought the mall is because they were sure the area is a market that could draw tenants, he said.
"My partner and I bought it with the idea that there was a fantastic opportunity in York. The people there want more retail, and we think that gives us a tremendous opportunity," Ruggeri said.