A store that specializes in tabletop games is expected to open inside the Bradford Mall. An opening date has yet to be determined.
Alan Chapman of Smethport revealed to The Era on Wednesday his plans to open the business in the former Tina’s Hallmark store location.
“It’s exciting. The mall has been down for a while,” Chapman said, adding that he remembers visiting a booming mall as a child.
Now it's looking like he will be part of the mall's revitalization. In addition to offering tabletop games, which can include board games and card games, Chapman said he wants to allow people to play games at the shop. Chapman said he wants to host tournaments, such as Magic: the Gathering trading card game. The business will not be associated with a national chain, he said.
He is not sure of the opening date and did not provide a store name but the project “still has a long ways to go,” Chapman said.
The some 5,000-square-foot-space is still being rehabilitated. The spot was last used by Tina’s Hallmark, which moved to the Shops at Foster Brook in 2002 and then eventually shut down.
“It’s the right amount of space, and the right area,” Chapman said.
What’s more, mall spokesman Pat Higgins of MBC Development LLC said a lease is close to being inked. He added that permitting still needs to be approved.
Higgins also met with other potential tenants for the mall but declined to provide specifics.
All told, the mall is taking on a new form not seen in many years. When MBC Development LP looked at purchasing the mall property, Higgins said the mall was dark and dingy. Now the building is getting cleaned up with ceiling tiles being replaced as has the roof, along with other work.
“It’s just breathing some life into the mall,” Higgins said.
Also on Wednesday morning, Higgins met with a couple other possible tenants but he would not reveal specifics.
As many as 10 tenants could lease space inside the mall depending on how space is divided up, officials said. Higgins also said he receives calls weekly about filling vacant space at the mall.
Elsewhere on the mall property on Wednesday, Sheetz took control of the former Beer Barn building. Demolition of the former Beer Barn will begin soon. The Beer Barn has relocated temporarily to the former Kmart garden center and is expected to be permanently located at the present site of the Bradford Auto Resale on Bolivar Drive.
As far as the planned outparcel adjacent to Taco Bell, Higgins did not want to give details. But he said the company is doing some preliminary work on the property; on Friday, workers were seen on a section of the mall parking lot taking soil samples. Higgins said he is sure the deal will go through.
Current mall tenants include PHOENIX Rehabilitation and Health Services Inc., Dunham’s Sports, Taco Bell, Carolina Furniture, Tractor Supply, Dollar Tree, The Cellular Connection (Verizon), Label Shopper, Big Lots, Peebles, Beer Barn and CNB Bank.