Dillard's Sears (copy)

Dillard’s plans to keep its men’s store in place at Richland Mall while moving its original mall storefront into the space Sears left in March.

The 104,000-square-foot Dillard’s space in Richland Mall has hit the market, and an Odessa real estate agent said she has already received inquiries.

Dillard’s, the Arkansas-based upscale department store chain, has been an anchor at Richland Mall since it opened in 1980. It now occupies two locations there, one selling men’s clothing and accessories, the other, the 104,000-square-foot space now on the market, selling women’s clothing, fragrances and housewares.

Dillard’s earlier this year announced it was relocating its women’s store to the 157,000-square-foot former Sears location. Sears, which has downsized and filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of declining sales and red ink, shuttered its Richland Mall store in March.

Dillard’s reportedly hopes to occupy the space in summer 2020. It bought the two-level Sears location, the two floors linked by an escalator, before Sears announced its Waco closing. The Waco store had escaped several rounds of closings nationally as Chicago-based Sears tried to deal with mounting debt.

Callie Norris, with ICA Properties in Odessa, said Tuesday that Investment Corporation of America owns the women’s space Dillard’s will leave. She said ICA also owns Dillard’s space at Midland Park Mall in Midland and in Music City Mall in Odessa. She said ICA just this week started marketing the space nationally, and she already is fielding calls.

“We would consider leasing or selling, but our first preference is to lease,” Norris said by phone. “Dillard’s obviously is very happy with the mall there, otherwise they wouldn’t be taking the larger Sears space.”

Though she had received four inquiries by noon Tuesday, Norris said she is not necessarily anticipating soon closing a deal on 104,000 square feet.

“It takes time to get a deal done, especially involving a footprint like that,” Norris said.

Deal by 2020?

She said she has not personally visited Richland Mall but that ICA has dispatched others to the scene. She said ICA would hope to have a commitment secured by the time Dillard’s departs in June 2020.

Stacey Keating, spokeperson for CBL Properties, which owns the balance of Richland Mall, referred most comment to Dillard’s.

“We are working with the owners to assist in finding a complementary replacement,” Keating said in an email response to questions.

In its marketing material, ICA describes the Dillard’s space as “premier central location in the largest enclosed shopping center between Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin, Texas, with a trade area comprised of 13 counties.”

It states the mall “has over $380 in sales per square foot.”

Dillard’s officials have told the Tribune-Herald in previous interviews the retailer would use the Sears space in its entirety. The chain reportedly is not interested in making a portion available to other retail users.

Dillard’s has not announced any plans for changes regarding the men’s store. It holds title to that area within the mall but leases the women’s store.

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