More buildings, demolition of Sears Auto among ideas for Dartmouth Mall’s future

Jan 29, 2019

Dartmouth Mall officials are continuing to refine conceptual plans to add more buildings to the periphery of the property and upgrade the landscaping and overall look of the property.

Steve Gioiosa of SITEC engineering presented a conceptual plan to the Planning Board on Jan. 28. It follows a Planning Board meeting last year in which officials from PREIT, the mall’s corporate owners, presented a broader proposal to build new free-standing retail buildings around parking lots on the property. In the industry, these are referred to as “pad sites.” 

Taco Bell, the Olive Garden, and Pier 1 Imports are examples of the kind of outbuildings that mall officials hope to build.

The latest conceptual plans show a total of seven proposed buildings scattered around the outskirts of the mall, built on what are currently mall parking lots. 

The biggest change would be at the corner near the intersection of Faunce Corner Mall Road and Route 6, the current site of Sears Auto. That building would be torn down and could be replaced with two new buildings. Sears plans to close the auto shop and its Dartmouth Mall retail store in the fall. 

While making the plans, the developers are focusing on priorities that have been established by the Planning Board including pedestrian safety, bike racks, and outdoor seating.

“The mall has grown and evolved as the retail industry has changed,” Gioiosa said. "One of the changes of the retail industry is there are some needs to provide different types of tenants on the outlying portion of the site. It helps the main mall attract customers, it also takes advantage of some of the lower priority parking areas of the site.”

Mall officials have begun to talk to a variety potential tenants, but no concrete plans have been made. The plans have not been voted on by the Planning Board.