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Nordstrom’s move from Oak Park Mall to the Plaza causes mixed emotions for metro shoppers

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Nordstrom will be closing its doors at Oak Park Mall and moving to the Country Club Plaza. That's causing some mixed emotions for metro shoppers.

According to folks who own the Plaza the new Nordstrom will be 116,000 square feet, but where it will be located is still a secret.

As you might guess Plaza shoppers are excited about the move, but people out south are bummed and worried about what this means for Oak Park Mall.

“I think it is sad because every time I am in there, it is busy, and it has got a great atmosphere,” Christina Elliott said. “It has lines of products that normal stores down this way -- even Von Maur -- don’t offer.”

Elliott said she probably won’t shop at Nordstrom after the big move because she doesn't go as far north as the Plaza on a regular basis. She still has three years before the retailer moves out of its space in Oak Park Mall, but she worries what may happen to her favorite mall in that time.

“I think Nordstrom is a big draw for the mall, and if you walk around, there is a lot of stores that are empty,” Elliott said. “Because Nordstrom is such a big draw, I would not be surprised if more started moving after this was announced, started making plans to do that if they haven’t already.”

A spokesperson for CBL Properties, which owns Oak Park Mall, sent a statement that reads in part: “The retail environment is changing rapidly and this decision provides us with an excellent opportunity to transform Oak Park for even greater success in the future.”

Although CBL didn't go into the details of their plan moving forward or what what is meant by the rapidly changing retail environment, St. Louis resident Olivia Cole said the Plaza is set up the way she likes to shop.

“It is all in one place,” Cole said. “I like the idea of it being outside. Walk, park, do your thing, eat along the way wherever you are. We don’t have anything like that in St. Louis, not anything close and not as classy, I guess, so it is definitely different.”

Without providing details, William Taubman, COO of Taubman Center. Inc, part owner of the Country Club Plaza, promises the addition of Nordstrom will create a modern, point-of-difference experience on the Plaza.

"Exciting new retail and dining will ensure the district's future success, and that it remains the crown jewel of the market," he said.

President of Nordstrom stores, Jamie Nordstrom, called the move an opportunity to offer shoppers, “a new shopping experience at the Country Club Plaza.”

Metro residents who remember the Plaza in it’s heyday hope the new experience will actually be the beginning of remaking the Plaza into what it once was.

“It was wonderful. Macy’s was down here and Saks Fifth Avenue," Richard Morgen said. "There was a lot of department stores, and sadly they all left. It’s really nice to have a full department store and especially someone like Nordstrom coming down here. I think it is going to be a great thing for the Plaza merchants and also for the people.”

Nordstrom will make the move north in 2021. Until then it will remain open at Oak Park Mall.