EARLY— The Heartland Mall will soon have a new occupant after city of Early officials announced Extreme Jump Trampoline Park will fill the former Sears location.

Gripping an Extreme Jump Trampoline Park banner with the future store front in the background, city and Extreme Jump officials posed for a photo, announcing via the city of Early Facebook page of the incoming business.

“It’s great. It had been challenging to find the right tenant for that location,” said Tony Aaron, city administrator. “It at the back of the mall and it doesn’t have a lot of highway frontage. When we started working with Extreme Jump, and their owner, it was really exciting to see it fit. It was a location that worked great for them.”

With locations in Laredo, McAllen, Corpus Christi and San Benito, Aaron said Extreme Jump Trampoline Park, Inc. is in the process of expanding services throughout Texas. With wall-to-wall trampolines of various sizes, the company’s mission is to provide an entertaining, safe, inviting family fun atmosphere and innovative experience while exercising the physical and mental components necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

“They’re going to have to do some demo. They’re going to tear down the existing ceiling and raise it to a height that is safe for trampolines,” Aaron said. “Then they’re going to put the trampoline park inside there. They’re shooting for April. They have six locations and they’re expanding rapidly into Oklahoma and some other states.”

Aaron said the lack of exposure scared off some potential retailers, but with the size and scope of the project the trampoline park officials seem confident the public will be well aware of their presence. Aaron added it was the efforts of an unnamed citizen who connected the city with Extreme Trampoline. Despite the recent closing of the Sears store in late 2018, the Heartland Mall has undergone a renaissance of sorts. In July of 2018, Hobby Lobby opened its doors – filling a location vacant for years due to the closing of JC Penny’s. A few weeks prior, the Chick-Fil-A opened the first of its kind drive through, which Aaron freed better focused traffic flow in the parking lot.

“It’s definitely a success story. Working the inside of the situation, we never felt the mall was going to close down,” Aaron said. “They were going through some issues with the JC Penny’s close and we knew there was a possibility of losing Sears. We were really working behind the scene for several years to fill those voids and make changes for the future of that mall. This is just another success. We have some we’ve already had and some for the future. There is going to be a bright future for the Heartland Mall or Heartland Shopping Center if they turn it into a true, open air shopping center … Keep your pencil sharp because there is more news coming.”