ST. CHARLES – January is usually a quiet time on the retail front, but The Quad St. Charles officials said they are working to keep their building active with seasonal offerings and a new mini-doughnut business.
An all-ages Jolly Express Jr. ride is open every Friday and weekend this month outside the interior Carson Pirie Scott entrance, said Nicole Kneeland-Woods, director of business development at the mall, formerly known as the Charlestowne Mall. The mall’s annual temporary H&R Block location also opened its doors to customers this week on the lower level near Von Maur.
The mall for the first time hosted a holiday craft expo on select dates in November and December, Kneeland-Woods said.
“We’re constantly working on it and looking for new ideas,” she said.
Kneeland-Woods is recruiting small business entrepreneurs, and the mall continues to have discussions with potential tenants for the redeveloped mall, Project Developer Chuck May said.
May said the mall’s grand reopening likely will occur sometime during fall 2016. Exterior work at the mall site began in summer 2014 and a groundbreaking ceremony was in September.
Construction crews will complete outside re-paving and also begin interior work this spring, May said.
Carol Stream resident Nilesh Patel said he is excited to be part of the mall’s transition. He opened his Keya’s Mini Donuts food stand on Dec. 17 outside the Charlestowne 18 movie theater entrance below the mall’s food court.
The doughnuts are named after Patel’s youngest daughter, 2, and they come in white, cinnamon or chocolate cocoa powdered sugar flavors. On Jan. 4 he unveiled a doughnut sundae with a six-mini doughnut base.
In addition to mini-doughnuts, coffee, chips and soda, Patel plans to expand his offerings to include items like cheesecake and funnel cake using his 15 years of experience in food and catering.
“I’ve already established a few loyal customers already,” Patel said, noting that the mall attracts many walkers that like to buy morning coffee at his food stand.
Dana Christensen’s two children and their friends on Thursday enjoyed some samples at the stand. The group was headed into Charlestowne 18 to see a movie because it was a snow day.
Christensen, a Geneva resident, said she will go to Von Maur and the theater sometimes but otherwise doesn’t frequent the mall located at 3800 E. Main St. on the far east side of St. Charles. She said more stores would convince her to shop there.
“I hope they do something great with it,” Christensen said. “It used to be so burgeoning.”
Christensen recommended mall officials pursue more activity-based offerings for children. Kneeland-Woods confirmed she is in talks with Patel to re-open the mini-golf facility at the mall sometime this year, and possibly open the carousel, but nothing is finalized yet.
Patel said his friends have questioned his decision to open his business in a nearly vacant mall, but he is looking toward the future. Eventually he hopes to expand from a kiosk to having a cafe at the mall.
“I picked this place because I see the potential of it,” Patel said.
For information about opening a business or attraction in the mall, contact Nicole Kneeland-Woods, director of business development, at 630-513-1120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.