With Sears, Younkers, and even K-Mart holding anchor in malls across the country for decades, the demise of those retail chains nationwide left a void many malls simply weren't able to recover from, and the mall concept as we knew it, began to fall by the wayside. Fort Dodge's Crossroads Mall held on until this past Labor Day weekend. After announcing it was facing foreclosure, Des Moines' Valley West Mall appeared to get a reprieve.

However, in a bit of positive news that bucks that trend, we learned recently that Jordan Creek Mall in West Des Moines is well on its way to avoiding that fate.

Jordan Creek Town Center is currently home to 156 businesses and has announced plans to add eight more. In neighboring Des Moines, The Des Moines Register says that one of Jordan Creek's counterparts has announced some exciting news as well.

Merle Hay Mall is adding a tenant known as Kids Empire. They are a fun, family-friendly indoor playground and party space. The former Sears anchor spot at Merle Hay will soon become a new, 56,000-square-foot Kohl's (moving from the opposite side of the mall to a bigger space), and perhaps the most touted addition will be the Des Moines metro's third Five Guys Burgers & Fries restaurant. The mall is also in negotiations with an undisclosed anchor store to join Kohl's

According to the Register, "Kohl's relocation is linked to the renovation of the mall's former Younkers store into a 3,500-seat arena for the Des Moines Buccaneers hockey team."

It remains to be seen if these moves will keep Merle Hay Mall thriving, but officials are certainly counting on it.

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