BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) — Two years after the Sears building was torn down, the ribbon was cut Saturday on the new DeBartolo Commons at the Southern Park Mall.
Friday evening, a small event was held to celebrate.
“It’s weird to see it now than when it was on paper. It exceeded my expectations,” said Boardman Township Administrator Jason Loree.
The new space is a place for the community.
“This is exactly what this great town deserves. I’m proud to have been a small part of it,” said Lou Conforti, former CEO and advisor of Washington Prime Group. He recently stepped down from the position.
There are several exciting things to do at the Commons, including restaurants, drinks and a 4-acre multi-use green made for concerts, sports and community events. There’s also a new entrance into the mall.
“So they want to come play games, they want to have a nice meal, they want to do fun things and while they’re here, we want them to shop,” said Melissa Burns, manager of Shelby’s Sugar Shop.
Even those who own a business at the mall are excited about this new addition.
“We’ve been at the mall for a couple years and just to see all this, how beautiful everything is, we’re super excited to be a part of it,” said Matt McClure, owner of the Youngstown Clothing Company.
The new Commons carries the Debartolo name — something that the family said the late Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., who built the Southern Park Mall, would be proud of.
“I am touched beyond measure. I am attached to Lou Conforti. He feels the legacy. He reminds me so much of my dad,” said Denise Debartolo York, owner of the San Francisco 49ers.
There will be a community day at the Commons on Saturday from noon until 8 p.m.