Crews have started work to transform the former Marc’s store in the Belden Square Plaza into a new location for Massillon-based Discount Outlet. The rest of the plaza will be remodeled later this year.
Work also will begin to fill the vacant former H.H.Gregg store in the Venue at Belden. Plans are for T.J. Maxx to move into the plaza from its spot in the Belden Village Commons plaza at 4800 Everhard Road NW.
Meanwhile, work continues on a new Duluth Trading Co. store on Whipple Avenue Northwest at the site of the former 77 Colonial Lanes bowling alley.
The 37,000-square-foot space in Belden Square Plaza became available when Marc’s decided to move to a new and larger building at 4825 Dressler Road NW. Panera Bread also relocated from Belden Square to the Dressler site, which had been the Aston Park Plaza.
Belden Square will be the second location for Discount Outlet, a liquidating company based in Massillon and part of International Enterprises. The original store is at 1070 First St. NE in Massillon.
Robert Brown, operations director for DeVille Developments, said Discount Outlet hopes to be open in September. The development company believes it is close to signing a new tenant for the space previously used by Panera.
Belden Square Plaza opened in 1976 and was one of the first DeVille Developments projects in what then was the new Belden Village shopping district. Marc’s had anchored the plaza for 30 years before making its move last year.
Once renovations are finished at the Discount Outlet store, crews will begin remodeling the rest of the plaza, Brown said. Stores in the plaza will get new facing, lighting and landscaping, and the parking lot will be repaved. The entire plaza will have a new look, Brown said.
Finding contractors for the project proved to be a challenge, Brown said, because of the large amount of construction taking place through out Stark County and the region.
“I guess that’s a good sign for the economy,” he said.
DeVille Developments began work to remodel the Venue, on the northeast corner of Whipple Avenue and Everhard Road Northwest in Plain Township, in 2015 and stores opened in 2016.
Appliance store H.H.Gregg was an original tenant in the remodeled plaza, but the chain filed bankruptcy and closed its stores in 2017.
When T.J. Maxx moves into the new location, the Venue will have full occupancy. Brown said he hopes T.J. Maxx will relocate into the 25,000-square-foot space sometime next spring. The retailer will sit between Home Goods and Stein Mart, its sister companies in TJX Corp.
On the west side of Whipple Avenue and visible from Interstate 77, work is progressing on a building for Duluth Trading Co. The online retailer has been opening stores around the country and spacing them far apart to make the locations shopping destinations. The store is on schedule to open in October.
Site plans call for two other buildings near the Duluth Trading store. It’s anticipated that restaurants will occupy the new locations, and while the developer has talked with potential tenants, nobody has been signed, Brown said.