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New owner of Butte Plaza Mall plans to begin 'de-malling' the building next year

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Posted at 1:10 PM, Jul 01, 2024

BUTTE — The new owner of the Butte Plaza Mall will be spending the next year and a half redesigning the building and bringing in new tenants, and once it’s done, it’s going to look completely different.

“I mean, I realize the mall is pretty dead inside and our goal is to revitalize it and kind of turn inside out,” said Darren Dickerhoof.

Dickerhoof Properties purchased the mall from the Hyman Family Trust in May for $8.5 million. The new owner’s redesign, which will begin next year, will drastically change the way the current facility looks.

“The terminology developers use is called de-malling, where you flip it inside out and you have more bigger stores with their own facades,” said Dickerhoof.

There are about six businesses interested in locating in the new plaza.

“We are working with some clothing tenants, shoes, beauty and makeup,” said Dickerhoof.

The developer is expecting the former Herberger’s portion of the mall will likely be torn down to make room for a currently-unnamed grocery store. Dickerhoof believes Butte residents will be happy with the grocery store.

“This grocer will, I think, be very competitive with pricing, which will make some of the other grocers have to compete with them and I think that will be good for the citizens,” he said.

The mall’s manager believes the purchase of the mall is more than just business.

“Total divine intervention. I believe it, I believe it. I believe he was an answer to a prayer,” said Mall Manager Alana Ferko.

The mall has been steadily losing businesses over the years and Ferko was having a very bad day. She pulled out her Rolodex and Dickerhoof’s business card fell out.

“And I called my mall owners and said, ‘You guys need to call him. If you don’t call him, I’m going to call him.’ And I was having such a bad day that they knew I meant business. I never had that tone with them before,” said Ferko.

Dickerhoof said construction will start next year and some tenants could be in by 2026.

“This is a rebirth. This is good, not just for the mall, this is good for our community. This is good for southwest Montana,” said Ferko.