“Westshore Mall’s latest owner, Westshore Mall Investors LLC, is here for the long run and eager to start construction. Greg Erne, one of three partners in the mall’s parent company, the Southfield-based Versa Development, told commissioners the job will include demolishing about 25 percent of the enclosed mall’s 415,000 square feet and adding a few free-standing shops to the property’s 72 acres.

Erne’s company bought the mall July 27, 2012. The mall went through six owners between 2005 and 2011 and fell into foreclosure twice.

The idea of a revamped mall “is exciting,” said Marion Hoeve, planning commission chairman.

Commissioner Ken Bosma asked about the mall’s market analysis and site access.

“Is this going to be a destination or will (access) be a detriment?” he said. Erne said most area residents are used to the access routes, but the mall is definitely “a destination,” adding that, with two entrances apiece from James and Felch streets, “we move traffic pretty well.”

As for the market analysis, Erne said shoppers can expect to see mid-price stores that would be attracted to this area of West Michigan. High-end stores, he noted, suffer quickly when the economy falters.”

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