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The growing Pines.

Pines Mall in Pine Bluff Adds New Tenants, Continues as Hub of Jefferson County

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR someone in Pine Bluff and southeast Arkansas, chances are they may be at the Pines Mall.

Area residents seem to be thrilled with the retail center, which has undergone more recent growth.

"It's one of the biggest customer draws in Jefferson County," says Jim Berry, president of the Greater Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

Berry came to Pine Bluff in 1986, the same year the mall was completed.

"I don't think there's been anything more positive for Pine Bluff since I've been here," he says. "It's up there with Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Tyson Foods and TrefilARBED Arkansas Inc."

The Pines Mall has added three new stores this year and is expecting a fourth new tenant this fall.

Garfield's Restaurant and Pub opened in February. It is a family-oriented dining room with a fun atmosphere. Crayons are at each table to help keep the children busy, and there are three television screens for diners' entertainment.

The restaurant has a varied menu, serving everything from prime rib to Mexican fare to sandwiches, and it has a full-service bar inside.

Located next to the mall's cinema in the food court, the restaurant is the 31st in the chain owned by Eateries Inc., an Oklahoma group.

"They are doing absolutely wonderful," says Kandy Spencer, the mall's marketing director. "Better than they expected or we expected."

To date, the Pines Mall location is Garfield's only one in the state. Locations reportedly are being scouted for Fort Smith and Little Rock.

Also opening in February at The Pines was a 4,600-SF Champs Sports, an athletic clothing retailer. The chain is one of several, including Footlocker, owned by Woolworth Corp. in New York.

(Incidentally, the mall's Footlocker almost doubled its store size last fall.)

Champs already has stores in Jonesboro, Fort Smith and two locations in Little Rock. The company's warehouse, which ships across the country, is located in Maumelle.

Aladdin's Castle, a video arcade, expanded its space from 1,500 to 3,400 SF in February.

On July 2, The Pines debuted a new store in Arkansas called The Locker Room.

The store, which sells licensed sporting apparel, is a new concept for The Athlete's Foot. Customers can find such unusual items as a football helmet signed by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, a basketball autographed by Magic Johnson and a baseball bat signed by Mickey Mantle.

Another retailing first for the mall is the Merry-Go-Round, a trendy outlet for men and women slated to open its first store in Arkansas this fall.

The mall's anchor tenants are Dillard Department Stores Inc., Sears Roebuck & Co., J.C. Penney Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

The Wal-Mart location is unusual by mall standards, but The Pines' management company often places a discount retailer such as Wal-Mart or Target as an anchor.

The mall is one of 78 run by General Growth Management of Minneapolis, Minn., the third-largest retail management company in the country. The facility houses 85 stores in 700,000 SF and is 85 percent occupied.

"We're busy targeting non-compete usages right now," says Spencer, adding that The Pines has local and national leasing representatives working on its behalf. "We're always talking to folks."
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Title Annotation:Pines Mall in Pine Bluff, Arkansas
Author:Ford, Kelly
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Jul 19, 1993
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