- Associated Press - Monday, May 20, 2019

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - A Rapid City mall has faced departures from major retailers and even a potential foreclosure as many national companies are reducing their numbers of stores or closing entirely.

But the Rushmore Mall has seen new businesses, nonretail offerings and even a museum look to fill its empty spaces.

Local businessman John Johnson opened Trader’s Market last month inside the mall’s former Sears store, the Rapid City Journal reported. The market serves as a space for artisans to sell their work or entrepreneurs to build retail businesses.

Johnson is also working on opening a museum to memorialize Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. The museum to open Aug. 1 will occupy the former store of women’s clothing retailer Charlotte Russe.

Visitors will be able to read individual plaques for the more than 3,500 people recognized for valor in combat with the country’s highest military honor. There will also be seating areas for reflection.

A Native American youth outreach and cultural center called I. AM. Legacy also recently opened in the mall.

“We were kind of out here by ourselves for a while, but it looks like the mall is starting to fill up again,” said Erik Bringswhite, who’s establishing the center.

The mall’s general manager, Sandy Brockhouse, said the mall is seeing a reemergence of locally based retail stores, such as Barb and Naomie’s Gifts. The women’s accessories and gift shop run by mother-daughter duo Barbara and Naomie Palmer opened at their new location in the mall last week.

“The customers have been amazing,” Barbara Palmer said. “I can see the mall building up again.”

Brockhouse said visitors to Rushmore Mall can expect to see more new tenants open in the coming weeks.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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