In Topeka, KS, 1980s Pop Icon Tiffany Goes Back To The Mall

The April 4 performance will highlight the West Ridge Mall redevelopment in which Topeka-based Advisors Excel will locate its headquarters, coupled with mixed-use retail and lifestyle offerings.

In 1988, the West Ridge Mall opened in Topeka, Kansas. Today, it remains the third-largest enclosed mall in the state with nearly 1 million square feet of commercial space. Over the past decade, this property saw anchor stores like Macy’s and Sears close in 2012 and 2018, respectively. Various management companies failed to keep the retail center alive, and by 2021, the mall’s occupancy rate had dropped to 39%, following national trends.

On April 4, 2024, 1980s pop icon Tiffany with the song, “I Think We’re Alone Now” among her hit songs, is returning to her roots — the mall. In partnership with GO Topeka, the economic development group for Kansas’ capital city, Tiffany will perform at West Ridge Mall, to raise awareness for a catalytic mall redevelopment project.

(Image: GO Topeka)

Spearheaded by Advisors Excel, a Topeka-based financial and investment services company, the remodeled West Ridge Mall will feature the first large-scale, mall-centered corporate campus in the United States, coupled with mixed-use retail and lifestyle offerings. In 2023, Advisors Excel announced plans for the site to be its new corporate headquarters of up to 1,000 employees. This is in addition to revitalizing the shopping center with dining, retail, and community spaces as part of the company’s work-from-work strategy. Advisors Excel has chosen Texas-based redevelopment partner Russell Glen to support the project.

“Emerging from the pandemic, our company recognized the value of working together in the office,” said Cody Foster, co-founder of Advisors Excel. “Our vision was to reinvent what a workplace and company culture can look like through the creation of a holistic campus experience that connects corporate office space with retail, dining and entertainment opportunities younger professionals seek.”

“In the 1980s, malls were the ultimate hot spot — people of all ages spent their weekends immersed in their bustling atmosphere, every corner holding excitement and possibility,” said Topeka Mayor Michael Padilla. “Today, some say malls are dead — but here in Topeka, our local mall is coming back to life, catering to the diverse needs and preferences of modern consumers. And what better way for this revival to be led than by our own community members.”

The mall redevelopment comes on the heels of a 2023 report by the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) showing that Gen Z is embracing the mall, with those aged 16-26 preferring in-person shopping experiences to online ones. Likewise, 97% of survey respondents said they would shop at brick-and-mortar stores.

1980s pop icon Tiffany will perform at West Ridge Mall in Topeka, Kansas to raise awareness for the mall redevelopment project led by Topeka-based Advisors Excel. (Photo courtesy: Advisors Excel)

“As we compete for the next generation of talent, we believe this project will be vital to ensuring we have the assets online that young professionals are looking for,” said Molly Howey, President of GO Topeka. “Nationally, many American malls have fallen victim to the mismanagement and apathy that leads to blight, and communities often feel their absence. In Topeka, we are excited to show one new way malls can thrive, inviting corporate activity alongside commercial and community engagement. What better way to kick off these efforts than with Tiffany!”

Tiffany will perform at the Greater Topeka Partnership Annual Meeting on April 4, 2024. The 1980s-themed Annual Meeting will take place in the mall food court and include a panel discussion featuring Foster, Howey, Mayor Padilla, and Visit Topeka President Sean Dixon. The group will discuss key redevelopment projects shaping the city’s future. The Partnership unites the community’s chamber of commerce, tourism and economic development interests.

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