Mall anchor Herberger’s to double its size

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Herberger's plans a major expansion of its store at the west end of Kalispell Center Mall. (Brenda Ahearn file photo/Daily Inter Lake)

Kalispell Center Mall is set for a major expansion with Herberger’s planning to double the size of its store.

Herberger’s will add 40,000 square feet to the west side of its existing 40,000-square-foot store. The store will consolidate its secondary location in the mall — 14,000 square feet of leased space for the men’s and children’s departments — into the expanded store.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Mall Property and Leasing Manager Eric Peterson at a Kalispell Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Construction will begin this summer, Peterson said. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2017.

“This will impact downtown in a very good way,” Peterson said.

“We are excited about the expansion of Herberger’s, which will create a brand new shopping environment for our customers,” Steve Byers, executive vice president of stores for The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., said in a press release. Herberger’s is part of The Bon-Ton Department Stores Inc.

“In addition, the store experience will be enhanced with new brands and expanded merchandise assortments,” Byers said.

Herberger’s and all stores within the mall will remain open during construction.

Herberger’s has been a tenant at the mall since it opened in 1986. A need for more store space was evident not long after the mall opened.

Bill Leingang, who managed the Kalispell Center Mall Herberger’s store from its grand opening in 1986 through 1994, made a prediction just a few hours before Herberger’s grand opening. Leingang turned to the Herberger’s chairman and declared: “The store’s too small.”

Six months later, the company leased additional space in the mall, expanding to a total of 54,000 square feet.

“From that point on, we’ve been trying to expand to 100,000 square feet or more,” Leingang said during a 2003 Daily Inter Lake interview.

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