At about 8:38 a.m. Friday, Matt Ludemann, general manager of the Golden Triangle Mall, carried a small brick as he walked from the entry sign off Loop 288 to his car.
“You have to take something with you,” he said.
At 9:01 a.m., mall officials, city leaders and community members gathered to witness what many people in Denton had been waiting to see.
“We are about to witness one of the most significant events to ever happen ... that is to demolish the ugliest sign in any shopping center in this great state of Texas,” said Herbert D. Weitzman, the chairman and CEO of Cencor Realty Services Inc. and its sister company, the Weitzman Group.
Before the sign was demolished, several people including Ludemann; Weitzman; Blake Shipp, president of the commercial division of the Weitzman Group; and Gar Herring, president and CEO of MGHerring Group, grabbed a hammer and took a swing at the old gray-blue brick structure built in 1979.
Denton Mayor Mark Burroughs thanked the company representatives for their continued support of the mall and for the work they have done so far.
“This mall has seen better days, and it will see better days because of the rejuvenation that you are making all around us,” Burroughs said.
The mall has been undergoing renovations since April.
Some of the changes to the 765,000-square-foot building include a new facade, redesigned entrances, updated storefronts to reflect the individual retailers’ latest prototypes, a new food court, new amenities throughout the mall including new seating areas, as well as new interior and exterior signage.
Wi-Fi Internet service was recently added throughout the mall and it also has a new Center Court with trees, a performance area and seating.
The Golden Triangle Mall, co-owned by MGHerring Group, has 90 tenants and is expected to add more than 25 new tenants after it completes renovations.
The lineup of stores coming to the mall includes Buckle, a Nebraska-based clothing store for young men and women, and Body Central, a company based in Jacksonville, Fla., that sells women’s clothing.
Mall officials said a new 20,000-square-foot area is under construction for a new women’s apparel store. The name of that tenant was not disclosed.
Phase 1 of the mall, located at Interstate 35 and Loop 288, will be completed in the fall and will include a new, architecturally different pylon sign.
“We are going to make you all, Denton, proud and we are going to bring the shops to Denton that you want,” Weitzman said. “We are selecting the names that are in the better stores and we are going after them.”
KARINA RAMÍREZ can be reached at 940-566-6878 and via Twitter at @KarinaFRamirez.