By J.D. Duggan – Staff Reporter, Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal

Five months after buying Northtown Mall, Felix Reznick, principal at 4th Dimension Properties, says his plans to reinvigorate the Blaine shopping center are starting to take shape.

Reznick is adding an Imagination Station play area for children to the former D’Moxi space across from the food hall. “I wanted to make the place – as I like to say – more sticky. I want people to stick around;’ Reznick said.

The Imagination Station has a climbing area and other toys to keep kids busy. It doesn’t pull a profit but could help attract more shoppers.

“You have to provide unique things for people to make this a destination;’ Reznick said, noting that there’s a lot of commercial activity in the area that can easily pull customers elsewhere.

The approximately 650,000-square-foot mall is anchored by Hobby Lobby, LA Fitness, Burlington, a Best Buy outlet, a Becker Furniture World store and a Becker Furniture outlet. Reznick said vacancy at the mall is under 10%, better than the 13-4% reported by Cushman & Wakefield in mid-2023.

Reznick said he also wants to bring the mall out of the 1980s and see more allowable uses. He’s been interested in developing the outlots since buying the mall. “I would like to see a hotel;’ he said. There could be room for multifamily uses too.

Blaine adopted the Northtown Master Plan in July 2022 to spur growth in the area and meet market trends and community desires. That plan includes more green spaces, improved transit and a strengthened mix of commercial and residential uses.

He said one of his goals is to leverage relationships and bring a new reputation to the mall. It wouldn’t be his first time.

Reznick said he’s helped bring an outlet mall from 69% occupancy to about 93%. His team bought a mall in Washington at 73% occupancy and lifted that figure by more than 10%.

Some of the other improvements are less obvious, but no less necessary. Reznick said he invested in a boiler for Northtown and is making infrastructure investments for the long haul. “It takes time;’ he said.

Reznick is based in the New York area and 4th Dimension is based in Florida, so he’s only made about a half-dozen trips to the mall so far. But he’s still working on other deals to drive more activity. He hinted a new experiential concept that will be taking over the space previously occupied by the Museum of Self, a place where people could take selfies with different backgrounds.