A group of businesses is hoping to revive the Northgate Mall.
Surrounded by vacant buildings in North Lafayette, the shop owners are determined to bring back shoppers.
Five new stores will be opening in the coming weeks.
Ranique Lambert is set to open S.T.E.P by Ranique, a swimwear store in the Northgate Mall. Several years ago, she was given an opportunity to set up a vendor’s table in the mall.
“When I saw the stores, I was like you know what, I want a storefront. I wanna be here. I saw the people walking through, and everyone here is like a family, all of the owners of the stores,” Lambert said.
Lambert grew up on the Northside and like many owners at the Northgate mall, she wants to see the area thrive.
Joshua Edmond is also a new Northgate mall business owner. His store, Let Your Light Shine, has been open for three weeks.
“It’s very important to have hope and to bring businesses back to the Northside. If we can come together as small businesses and in unity, we have a bigger impact if we all strike together,” Edmond said.
Employees at Home Sweet Home, a Northgate Mall staple for more than 30 years, are excited to see the mall grow again.
“We want to keep the mall open and we want to keep everything moving. This side of Lafayette needs to grow also, not just the other side,” Dona Knott, a salesperson for Home Sweet Home said.
“As a child, this was our mall. We didn’t have any other malls, we came here. This mall was booming back then. It went down. Now, we need to bring it back and revive the Northside,” shopper Thelma Campbell said.
A new fast food restaurant, an event center, and several other retailers are all set to open soon here in the Northgate Mall.