BY MAUREEN N. MARATITA
Journal Staff

Micronesia Mall plans to re-open from May 11. Shopping hours will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to its website). The mall is also planning to extend.

Photo courtesy of Micronesia Mall

Micronesia Mall is forging ahead with plans to extend.

It has begun developing three acres of land near the Fatima Road entrance to extend the mall with an additional building. The site is adjacent to the South Parking Garage, which fronts Fatima Road, and will feature upfront parking for 100 vehicles.

Phillip Schrage, senior vice president of group operations for Goodwind Development Corp., which does business as Micronesia Mall, told the Journal, “Eventually there will be an additional anchor store.”

The mall plans to house an anchor tenant in the 30,000 square-foot building and two freestanding drive-through restaurants. Of the building, he said, “It could be multi-story, but it wouldn’t have to be. If somebody needed more than 30,000 square feet, they could certainly go up,” Shrage said. The building will be constructed “once a tenant is secured.”

The site will initially be paved. The first phase of this work at the mall includes the French drain and is costing more than $3 million, he said.

“In order to plan for the future, you need more land. “From the ponding basin to Fatima [Road] – that we didn’t own, but we do now. It’s a popular entrance,” he said.

During its shutdown, the mall has taken advantage of continuing its French drain project, which should be completed within weeks, Schrage said. Upgrading the drainage is taking place on four sites on the property. “It was opportune,” Schrage said as the contractor has more freedom to work. The mall halted that work during the end of year holiday period. “We planned it so that we’d minimize disruption.”

Micronesia Mall will welcome two new tenants. “They are both franchises and pretty well known,” he said. “Both are in the restaurant business and are not on Guam now.” One will be in the food court and the other will be a sit-down restaurant, Schrage said. “The dine-in one is working out design drawings. The other has an architect also in a design phase.”

Guam Premier Outlets will launch an online ordering option by May 15.

Monte D.M. Mesa, general manager of GPO and Tumon Sands Plaza told the paper that this is a new concept for Guam.

“We will be the first shopping center to sell online and deliver within 24 hours. “We have 10 to 11 tenants to start with,” he said.

Participating stores include a variety of options likely to appeal to island residents who have been starved on shopping options during the retail closure from March 20 to May 10 and will include shoes and toys. “It’s helping our local market first … the local stores that we have,” he said. “The bookstore also will be part of that.”

Goods will be delivered to customers, with orders taken between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and delivered within 24 hours. “Maybe you’re not home. We’ll come back the next day,” he said. Orders can also be delivered to offices, he said, depending on the address given.

The delivery charge is $10. “If you buy from ten stores, you get a good deal. People will figure it out.”

Prices at GPO are low to start with, he said. “That’s why we’re moving forward with this program. We’ve been studying what Walmart and Target have been doing as well.”

Mesa said even when customers eventually flock to malls, online shopping could remain part of GPO’s offering. “It will stay on if it becomes successful.” Orders will go out around the island. However, he said, “Most demand will be central.” He also anticipated high demand to the North of Guam.

Online shopping is prevalent everywhere, he said. “It’s one way to do business now. That’s the way we’re moving forward. We’re going to take a chunk.”

Mesa said Guam’s residents are accustomed to ordering online and that “90% of what’s at the post office is all from e-commerce.”

Despite the closure – and the loss of Forever 21, GPO has been talking to new tenants. “We’ve three different people we’re working with,” he said. “We’re targeting another grocery business as well.” mbj