For the first time in years, a major retail store is opening at Southridge Mall instead of closing.
Dick's Sporting Goods celebrated its new Greendale location grand opening on Friday, and brought new excitement to the struggling mall.
"I was really waiting for this to open," said Alphonso Pettis, who lives on the south side, and still shops at Southridge for the convenience, "It's great to see activity out here, just to see families."
Abby Jacobs is the community marketing manager for Dick's Sporting Goods. She says the store saw a lot of potential in a Greendale location.
"There's a big sports and outdoor community here so it really was a good fit for us," she said, "Especially in a part of Milwaukee where we didn't have a big presence before."
Dick's Sporting Goods took over the former Sears location, after the store left in 2017.
And more is on the way for Southridge too. Signs out front point to a T.J. Maxx location opening in 2019, and a rebranding of the mall to "The Shoppes at Southridge."
In the past two years, Southridge has lost three of its anchor stores, including Sears, Kohl's and most recently Boston Store.
But smaller stores, and even a bowling alley will fill part of that gap.
"It's exciting to be part of a new developing part of the mall," said Jacobs.
Boston Store recently announced plans to reopen some of its brick and mortar locations. It's still unclear what will happen to the empty storefront at Southridge Mall.