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It kind of all comes full circle again.” The shopping center, which has changed ownership over the years and currently is managed by Jones Lang LaSalle Retail, has filled some of its vacancies with nontraditional tenants such as the University of Phoenix, which opened an 18,000-square-foot student learning center in the mall’s Outdoor Village this past fall. The International Council of Shopping Centers expects some malls will continue to fill some spaces with nontraditional tenants such as karate schools, gyms or doctor’s offices, said Jesse Tron, a spokesman for the council. “Bringing people into the center for other purposes could have crossover or spillover effect in terms of shopping or retail sales.” Genesee Valley features a branch of the Genesee District Library, which has been in the mall since 2002, and has other tenants offering teeth-whitening, massage and eyebrow-shaping in the center aisles. Earlier this month, a new Merle Norman Salon & Spa opened, offering services such as massages, facials, makeup application, nail and pedicures.

The salon and spa relocated from the Courtland Center mall in Burton. Malls nationally will continue to add more dining and entertainment options in the future, as well as open-air shopping components, Tron said. Genesee Valley, which features an Outdoor Village open air shopping section, also has added American Fun Center Arcade, Portrait Innovations and Brow Art this year, and a Cinnabon is expected to open this fall near center court. Cassabon said the mall’s vacancy rate is “well below the national average” — 8.9 percent in the first quarter and the highest percentage since 2000 — and that mall retailers in the first quarter are seeing some sales growth over the same quarter in 2009. “We’ve got great tenants and a great shopper base,” she said. Shopper Brittany Coulman, 19, of Lapeer County’s Hadley Township, makes the drive to Genesee Valley over other malls because she likes to check out new fashions about once a week at one particular retailer. “I just come for The Buckle,” she said, while eating in the mall’s food court with her mom, Jackie Coulman, 48. “It’s my favorite store.” Ron and Judy Humitz, a retired couple from Argentine Township, said they come to the mall maybe three to four times a year.

“It’s a beautiful mall,” Judy Humitz said last week after shopping for a new bedspread at Sears. “They have good selections.” “You feel comfortable,” added Ron Humitz. It’s relaxing.” A half dozen of Genesee Valley’s first retailers remain in business at the mall. One is Palace Coney Island, which has been serving up coney dogs, french fries and gyro sandwiches and homemade soups at the mall since 1970. The business opened as a sit-down restaurant on the first floor and moved into the food court when that opened in 1987. Haddad says part of the restaurant’s success is made-to-order, quality food. “We’ve got customers coming here for years and years and years.” About Genesee Valley shopping center. • Opened: The first store, Sears, opened in May 1970, followed by Hudson’s in July 1970. 3, 1970 with more than 55 stores (including a full-service bank, Hamady Bros. Six of the first retailers remain: Sears, Macy’s, Baker Shoes, Lane Bryant, Pearle Vision and Palace Coney Island. • Expansions: In 1979, JCPenney and 30 specialty stores opened; A $3-million, 25,000-square-foot food court was added in 1987; A Mervyn’s and Montgomery Ward and 23 other retailers opened in the mall after a 1993 expansion and renovation project; In 2006, the 65,000-square-foot Outdoor Village wing opened after the vacant Montgomery Ward was demolished; Burlington Coat Factory opened in 2007 in the vacant Mervyn’s space. • Today’s features: The mall includes Sears, Macy’s, Burlington Coat Factory and JCPenney anchor stores, Barnes & Noble in the Outdoor Village and a total of more than 130 retailers, covering 1.27 million square feet. Sources: Genesee Valley shopping center and Flint Journal files. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20). The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. Look for the green NOW HIRING signs in the windows of participating stores. Quick list of some of the stores hiring: Forever 21, Encore Shoe Dept, Lenscrafters, Merle Norman, Zales, Villa, Yankee Candle, Mrs. Fields, Finish Line, Vanity, Sunshield, Bagel Brothers, Family Puppy, American Family Fun Center Arcade, Campus Den, Motherhood Maternity, Journeys Kidz, Childrens Place, Icing, Claires, Bath & Body Works, Maurices, Burlington, Journey’s, Things Remembered, Best Buy Mobile, Coffee Beanery, Kids Footlocker, Hot Topic, The Buckle, Hollister, Lids, Macy’s, Justice, Spencers, We Can Do it Graphics, Vicotria’s Secret, FYE, Body Arts, Express, JCPenney’s, Sears……. Yes, as of 5/15/20, we have reopened and are booking appointments! However, in order to keep all patients and our practitioners safe, we will be operating at a lower capacity with new protocols. You MUST have an appointment, we are not taking walk-ins at this time.

PLEASE go to Patient Protocols to review new steps that must be taken at this time. At DCA, we think the wonderful benefits of acupuncture should be accessible to everyone.

We want you to come in as often as you need to feel your best! DCA provides individualized acupuncture treatments, lifestyle recommendations, and herbal formulas.

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