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Kandi Mall is now Uptown Willmar

072320.N.WCT.UptownWillmarWEBONLY
The Kandi Mall in Willmar has been rebranded as Uptown Willmar. Owned by RockStep Capital, the mall is joining other properties owned by the company that are being renamed. Erica Dischino File photo / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — Willmar's Kandi Mall is being renamed Uptown Willmar by owner RockStep Capital.

The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon through an open letter from company president Andy Weiner.

Willmar will join other RockStep properties taking on the Uptown brand including Hot Springs, Arkansas; Virginia, Minnesota; Meridian, Mississippi; Janesville, Wisconsin; Aberdeen, South Dakota; Vicksburg, Mississippi; and Scottsbluff, Nebraska. RockStep owns shopping centers in 11 states.

"Part of our decision to change the name is that we believe that the word "mall" no longer reflects what is happening at these properties," Weiner said in the letter.

Weiner said that while the COVID-19 pandemic and retail shutdown sped the process up, the company had been working on transforming its mall properties into multi-use spaces since acquiring them.

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"Uptown helps to evoke the spirit of these properties, and we believe continues the positive momentum that has allowed for powerful revitalization occurring in smaller communities," Weiner said.

It will take until the end of the year to complete the rebranding at the malls, including in Willmar.

"We feel that the time is right to make a change," Weiner said.

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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