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Universitees heads to Coral Ridge

BY MICHAEL KADRIE | JULY 08, 2014 5:00 AM

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Coral Ridge Mall continues to expand the scope of its customers’ shopping experience.

Universitees, a college clothing store, has opened a new location in the Coral Ridge Mall. This isn’t the first time, either. 

Tim Tichenor, the president of T.I.S. Group, a Bloomington, Indiana, company that operates bookstores, sporting-goods suppliers, and wholesale services, said the business has always been successful at the mall. 

Customer interest is the reason it opened a store there in the first place, Tichenor said.

“We’ve had a lot of customers that were asking when we would reopen at the mall,” he said.

All people have their favorite places to shop, and having a Coral Ridge location allows Universitees to reach out to people who might not shop in downtown Iowa City, Tichenor said. 

For the moment, the store is located across from Claire’s in a temporary location until the mall can find a permanent place for the business.

Downtown shoppers don’t have to worry, though.

The location in the Old Capitol Town Center will remain open.  Universitees has been a long-time member of the downtown retail community.

“It’s been there for close to 15 years,” said Kevin Digmann, the general manager of Old Capitol mall.

Right now, the Coral Ridge Mall is almost fully occupied. Monica Nadeau, the facility’s general manager, said the occupancy rate is in the “high 90s” percent.

Last week, officials announced that specialty retailer Apricot Lane will open its first Iowa location at the Coral Ridge Mall.

The retailer will open in October adjacent to Old Navy. Apricot Lane has 32 locations across the nation, and it carries many fashion brands, including Lucky Brand, Miss Me, and Rock Revival.

Universitees and Apricot Lane are part of the several new tenants that have moved to the mall in the past year.

In 2011, a Divaris Real Estate survey was contracted by Iowa City and the University of Iowa asked residents, as well as UI students, faculty, and staff about their retail needs.

The top retail venues at which the three consumer groups shopped were Coral Ridge at 82 percent, downtown Iowa City at 71.5 percent, and the Internet at 71.4 percent.

Nadeau said the mall initially contacted Universitees about the opening in the mall, because she was aware of successful it had been. 

Mall officials make certain to let the business know whenever space opens up; the arrangement has been continuous for nearly three years.

“They’ve been a great tenant over the past few years,” Nadeau said. “Our goal right now is to fill the space we have.”


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