Merely three weeks into the job, the new general manager at Wauwatosa's Mayfair mall has unveiled plans for furniture store Z Gallerie to open in fall 2016.
'It's very exciting,' said Chris Jaeger, who stepped into his new role April 20. 'I think it's just a great fit for the market.'
Plans to bring in the furniture and home furnishing chain is a deal Jaeger described as 'hot off the press.' The store will be situated on the west side of the mall, 2500 N. Mayfair Road, replacing the former Applebee's and Paciugo Gelato in a more than 8,000-square-foot space.
'I think it's going to be a great fit for the market,' Jaeger said. The Wauwatosa location would mark the first Z Gallerie store in Wisconsin.
Jaeger credited his surrounding team for much of the work of bringing the store into Mayfair. While there could be more new stores in the works, the Z Gallerie announcement marks the first snag for Jaeger, who has worked at six malls throughout the Midwest in a 10-year period, he said.
Jaeger began his career in retail management with General Growth Properties in 1998. The Chicago-based company, which owns, manages, leases and redevelops high-quality retail properties throughout the United States, controls Mayfair, Oakwood Mall in Eau Claire and Fox River Mall in Appleton.
Jaeger said he worked throughout the region for some time but admitted that Milwaukee, a city where he was born and partially raised, was where he hoped to someday return with his family.
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Jaeger served as general manager at Oakwood Mall from 2005 to 2008. It wasn't long before 'Bayshore came calling,' he said.
Owned by Olshan Properties, Jaeger worked as general manager at Bayshore Town Center for seven years, overseeing much of the location's redevelopment. All the while, Jaeger said he 'had a great deal of familiarity' with then-manager Stephen Smith of Mayfair.
'I learned a lot from him,' he said. Smith retired in March after more than two decades on the job.
'To be able to put my stakes in at Mayfair was really an exciting time for me and my family,' Jaeger said.