In May 2007, Dillard’s officials first announced plans to move from Golden Triangle Mall to Rayzor Ranch Town Center, touted to be among the largest open-air centers in the region at 1.2 million square feet of retail space.
Dillard’s officials expected the larger footprint to open in 2009 inside the proposed town center at Interstate 35 and U.S. 380.
But that was before the Great Recession and back when the Newton Rayzor property featured wide-open fields, a house atop a hill and a roaming herd of longhorn cattle.
Now, more than five years later, the hill and house have been razed, and the cattle are long gone. Weeds have grown atop mounds of dirt as residents wonder whether crews will ever begin construction on the acreage south of U.S. 380, also known as University Drive.
Recently, word of the proposed Rayzor Ranch Town Center resurfaced with a repeated announcement that had a few small but important differences.
This time around, Dillard’s officials again announced plans to put a larger footprint in the town center. The differences, however, should be noted: The proposed town center has shrunk to 600,000 square feet of retail space, and the announcement revealed no opening date.
We can’t help but wonder about this second announcement. The timing seems interesting as it reveals little new information, no opening date, plans for a smaller retail center and hits about the time holiday shopping gets under way and the International Council of Shopping Centers holds its annual conference in New York City. The council is where retail center and mall officials gather to attract interest, hoping to net leases for new retail stores on their respective properties.
This is the same event where officials from Cencor Realty Services and the Weitzman Group, which are affiliated with the mall, might also possibly look for new retailers for Golden Triangle Mall at Interstate 35E at Loop 288.
The mall is currently undergoing renovations, both interior and exterior, to update the look and feel of the 1980s structure by adding new shops as well as a food court and several new restaurants.
One main question we continue to ask is with all of the retail shops available in the U.S., why do we have to see shops move from one retail center to another in the same town? How about attracting more new shops to keep our dollars here in Denton rather than sending residents south and east to other cities.
It is a question we’ll keep asking with the hope that someone is listening.