McComb’s Edgewood Mall will soon be known by another name, Uptown McComb, owners of the shopping center announced Wednesday.
Houston, Texas-based RockStep Capital, which bought the shopping center in 2017, said the name change is part of a new marketing and branding strategy for its properties in 11 states.
In addition to McComb’s mall, similar names changes are coming to 10 other RockStep properties. They include new mall names such as Uptown Hot Springs, Uptown Meridian and Uptown Vicksburg.
When the mall opened in McComb 33 years ago, developers looked to the surrounding area to come up with a name and settled on Edgewood — like the park and the nearby neighborhood.
RockStep CEO Andy Weiner said in a message posted on Facebook Wednesday that the change is part of an effort to keep up with an evolution in the use of malls.
“Part of our decision to change the name is that we believe the word ‘mall’ no longer reflects what is happening at these properties,” Weiner wrote. “The transformation of malls into a combination of non-traditional uses along with more traditional retail and restaurant uses has accelerated due to COVID-19.”
Weiner said some of the evolving uses include spaces being rented out to education institutions, entertainment venues, fitness centers and medical and government offices. The McComb School District has been leasing property at the local mall for the past couple of years.
“RockStep Capital has been transforming these mall assets to be epicenters of the community since their acquisition,” Weiner wrote.
And then there’s the fact that “uptown” can be an antonym for downtown — where the heart of commerce was once based.
“The location of ‘downtown’ has a clear perception in our markets,” Weiner wrote. “ ‘Uptown’ is the other part of the retail and commercial corridor and connotes mixed-used. Uptown helps evoke the spirit of these properties, and we believe continues the positive momentum that has allowed for a powerful revitalization occurring in smaller communities.”
Weiner said the rebranding effort will take through the end of the year to complete.
“COVID is creating an environment for all of us to be more creative and to continue to move our properties in a positive direction,” Weiner wrote.