Merced Mall to become ‘Marketplace’

A map of the Merced Mall property with a red line denoting the property purchased by Ethan Conrad Properties for the creation of the new Marketplace at Merced.

The Merced Mall — one of the best shopping locations in the city for more than five decades — will become the “Marketplace at Merced,” according to Ethan Conrad Properties, the company that announced last week it had acquired the main section of the 27-acre retail center.

The new Sacramento-based owner reportedly paid $22.5 million for the 329,000 square-foot enclosed property from the Mall’s longtime owner, Codding Enterprises, based in the Santa Rosa area.

“We are dedicated to remodeling the property to ensure it exudes the same allure and attractiveness as esteemed destinations similar to Yuba Sutter Marketplace and Chico Marketplace,” said Ethan Conrad, CEO of Ethan Conrad Properties. “Our aim is to create a space that not only meets but exceeds the expectations of our tenants and community members alike.”

The company’s redevelopment plans focus on transforming the aging Mall into a vibrant, entertainment, and service-driven hub. Modern enhancements are expected to significantly increase foot traffic and attract repeat visitors, ensuring long-term market dominance.

“We are fully confident that Ethan Conrad Properties will take the former Merced Mall to the next level, and look forward to re-positioning the Mall to a major regional community shopping center,” said Merced Mayor Matt Serratto.

Company officials said they will be leasing the old Mall property to outstanding national tenants. They say they have received significant interest from over 300,000 square feet of anchor tenants, “many of whom have already submitted compelling lease proposals for the 85,000 SF of anchor space.”

Additionally, they are excited to unveil plans for two dynamic “pads,” with several exceptional drive-thru restaurant tenants expressing keen interest and have already submitted lease proposals.

Meanwhile, the old Sears building on the Mall’s west side remains in the hands of the investment company Sage Investco of Newport Beach. That site has been slowly undergoing remodeling work to reportedly house new high-profile tenants, such as the chain clothing outlet Burlington.

Currently, the Mall’s western section from the food court to JC Penney remains open for business while rest of the stores toward Kohl’s on the eastern side remain closed. A timeline for renovating the mall and creating the new “Marketplace” has not yet been made public.

City of Merced District 5 Council member Sarah Boyle stated, “The redevelopment of the former Sears building and Merced Mall are two major priorities for the residents of this community. We are excited and, with great anticipation, await the start and completion of the renovation project.”

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