The comeback of Southbridge Mall

Brett Bachtle
Created: January 13, 2020 06:12 PM

(ABC 6 News) - The Southbridge Mall is beginning to make a comeback thanks to the new downtown multipurpose arena.

Since word the arena word revitalize the downtown area, around a dozen businesses have moved into the mall.


One of the newest attractions is axe throwing. North Iowa radio personality J. Brooks will open Country Axe this Thursday.

“First I looked at a couple of different places, different towns. Then it dawned on me with the new multipurpose center coming in, a new sports bar just down around the corner, that this is the perfect opportunity to help grow downtown Mason City and the mall,” said Brooks.

18-year-old KJ Barkema found the perfect spot in Southbridge Mall to fulfill his dream of owning his own business. He opened River City Mini Golf in September.

“Part of our goal was to help revitalize the mall and to bring in more experiences into the mall because the future of malls is not retail. It could be retail mixed in with experience, but it’s all going to be experience-driven in the future,” said Barkema.

General Manager of Southbridge Mall Cindy Boender says the mall is growing and that it has everything to do with the new multipurpose arena and other downtown projects.

Boender says, “As a manager, it is thrilling to see the mall make a comeback -- we are very thankful to our long-time tenants who stayed with us and are now being rewarded. And we are thankful to our new tenants who have caught the excitement and vision of what is to come.”

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