Bayshore Town Center has nearly 20 empty storefronts: 'That's absolutely by design'

GLENDALE -- Empty storefronts are typically not a good thing. But managers of Bayshore Town Center in Glendale say the property is making a comeback -- it is part of their plan.

The empty storefronts -- almost 20 of them -- are hard to ignore. Shopper Willie Donald said the enclosed portion of Bayshore is nearly empty.

"I saw maybe two or three stories. I thought, where did all these stores go? I was shocked," Donald said.

But the shopping center's managing agent said the dark storefronts are part of a plan.

"That's absolutely by design," said Kirk Williams.

Over the phone, Williams told FOX6 News Bayshore Town Center is going through a renaissance to make way for things you cannot buy with a click of a mouse.

"It can't be done on the internet. It can't be created on the internet. We're creating those areas that can't be ordered -- that can only be unique to Bayshore," Williams said.

Long-term tenants are out moving out of the indoor shopping area to a streetside location -- filling those empty storefronts. Crews will demolish the indoor site to make room for a hotel and more residential space, restaurants and bars. That will include some local, regional and national brands.

"There are unique North Shore tenants along with the healthy, national tenants that we are keeping," Williams said.

Bayshore is the City of Glendale's largest property taxpayer and largest employer. Mayor Bryan Kennedy said its redevelopment is key to keep Bayshore relevant.

"We want Bayshore to be successful. That's why we've worked with the ownership group -- because we are partnering with Bayshore," Kennedy said.

The project should wrap up in about a year -- with a new look and new concept to drive what developers believe will be new business.

The mayor and developers worked together on the redevelopment plan. They hope to create a place to gather -- like a beer garden or ice skating rink in the center of the property.