Good news at Chesapeake Square

Published 10:13 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New businesses are coming to Chesapeake Square Mall, while another is set to reopen.

Auntie Anne’s pretzel shop, Maggie P’s Country Kitchen, and Erly Byrd clothing for men will open in the coming weeks at the mall, as confirmed by specialty leasing and marketing manager Cathy Kurchinski with Jones Lang LaSalle, property manager for Chesapeake Square.

This will be the debut of Maggie P’s Country Kitchen and Erly Byrd at the mall and a reopening for Auntie Anne’s.

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“Our leasing team is working diligently to offer a desirable mix of retail and dining options to our shoppers,” Kurchinski said.

Some shoppers on Facebook have expressed interest in the new businesses and the return of Auntie Anne’s.

“I am glad Auntie Anne’s pretzels is coming back,” Facebook user Jane Orr said in a response to a Suffolk News-Herald reporter’s question on the Western Branch Coming Together Facebook page.

Others were less interested.

“These ‘new’ stores won’t be enough for me to shop in the mall,” Facebook user Brenna Moore wrote.

Several retailers have closed their Chesapeake Square locations in recent years. The Chesapeake Square Family Christian Store chain announced in February the closures of its 240 store locations nationwide, including Chesapeake Square.

Macy’s closed its Chesapeake Square location in 2016, as did Sears in 2015. According to real estate analytics firm Trepp LLC, the mall was headed into foreclosure in April 2016 with an outstanding loan of $61.7 million.

“Malls in general are going the way of the dinosaurs,” Facebook user Mike Hawley wrote. “Time to start over with fresh ideas.”

Some residents, however, are hoping for more business at the mall and for the Chesapeake Square area.

“Would love to see our mall be thriving again,” wrote Facebook user Joyce Hawkins. “So tired of everything going to Harbour View. Come on Western Branch, let’s support our community.”