University Mall owners and city officials cut the cake and signed the papers Wednesday, celebrating the shopping center's birthday and its future.
"We're delighted that this day has ended up the way it was supposed to be," said Mayor Joe Nelson, referring to the City Council's decision Tuesday night to approve a pair of multimillion-dollar tax incentive agreements between the city and Woodbury Corp. that secures ZCMI's place as a mall anchor.The deals also invite Nord-strom to become the mall's third anchor store. The Nordstrom store will replace JC Penney, which is relocating to Provo Towne Centre, the new mall under construction in south Provo.
The ZCMI store will maintain its place in the 25-year-old shopping center and plans to remodel and expand to match the rest of the mall make-over look.
"We will still be the main retail corridor in the whole county," Nelson said. "It wasn't that hard really. We knew what had to be done. Getting everybody together was the main challenge."
ZCMI President Richard Madsen said he hopes all businesses succeed, "wherever they are located." He added that the old-fashioned principle of loyalty played a part in ZCMI's determination to stay in Orem.
City Manager Jim Reams said the city is excited about the decision to keep ZCMI, excited to have a Nordstrom store come into Orem and excited to have Mervyn's remain as a solid mall anchor.
"We're all excited about what this says for the future of the mall," said Rob Kallas, shopping center manager for Woodbury Corp., owner of the University Mall.
Rick Woodbury said his father, Wally, conceptualized University Mall and now a third generation of the family is taking over its development and management.
"We will have the major and premier fashion mall in the county as we bring this mall into the 21st century," he said.
Expansion for ZCMI is expected to begin in 30-60 days and completed by June 1999. Two levels will be added to the north side of the building, adding 40,000 square feet.
Nordstrom management has announced its intention to build a store between 100,000 square feet and 120,000 square feet on the mall's east side. The store is scheduled to open in the fall of 2000.