Overland Park’s Oak Park Mall won’t be losing its Nordstrom store after all.
Company officials this week confirmed the store no longer plans to relocate to the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri.
The news appears to be a big win for one of the Kansas City metro’s last remaining regional malls, which is approaching its 50th anniversary.
The original plan: Nordstrom announced in 2018 that it would move to a new 116,000-square foot-space on the Plaza and out of Oak Park Mall, where it had been an anchor tenant for nearly two decades.
To facilitate the move, Capital Grille and Bank of America were relocated and the large structure that housed them, along with some movie theater screens and another restaurant, was demolished.
At the time, Nordstrom President Jamie Nordstrom cited a desire to expand the Kansas City market as the reason for the move.
Change in plans: Nordstrom officials did not immediately return requests for comment from the Post, but in an email to Fox 4, they said those plans to move no longer exist.
“We look forward to continuing to serve our customers in the Kansas City community in Oak Park,” officials told the TV station.
A Country Club Plaza official also said Plaza owners and Nordstrom mutually agreed not to go forward with the plan and that owners are currently reviewing other alternatives for the space it was supposed to occupy.
Overland Park reacts: In a statement, Mayor Curt Skoog said keeping Nordstrom in Overland Park will help the city continue to thrive.
“I’m pleased to hear that Nordstrom will serve the Kansas City metropolitan area from Overland Park,” Skoog said. “Oak Park Mall continues to be a thriving place in our community to shop and play, and we will continue to work with CBL Properties, owners of the mall, to attract high-quality tenants and consider dynamic uses for the space moving forward.”
Meanwhile, shoppers also seem pleased for now.
On Wednesday, Overland Park resident Cerna Dvorak, who was at the Norstrom at Oak Park Mall, said she’s happy to see the store staying put.
“I’m very excited that [Nordstrom] is staying,” Dvorak said. “It’s the best place to shop for high end apparel that you really can’t get elsewhere in this area. I’m here like every other day.”
Mall history: Oak Park Mall opened in 1975 and is one of the Kansas City metro’s last remaining regional malls.
The mall’s Tennessee-based owners CBL & Associates Properties has faced some pandemic headwinds the past two years and nearly went into default in the summer of 2020.
But Oak Park Mall has remained relatively vibrant, with nearly all its spaces leased even at the height of the pandemic, which local lockdown orders closed the facility for nearly two months.
In pre-pandemic years, the mall accounted for upwards of 6% of the city of Overland Park’s annual tax revenues.
In more recent years, the mall has hosted temporary pop-up stores, including one from fashion designer Rachel Roy and another last year that sold goods designed by students at Shawnee Mission West High School.
Nikki Lansford contributed to this report.