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New owners for Gateway Shopping Center

They are using it as an opportunity to pay homage to their favorite decade.

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. — Between the famous faces in one mural and the car in the driveway in another, it's easy to guess what decade is Vanessa Musto's favorite.

"All of our branding is based around 1950s themes, where dad and I are really into 1950s cars. So one of our 1957 Thunderbirds is also included in this mural," explained Vanessa Musto, the daughter of Musto and Daughter Real Estate.

These are some of the many changes Vanessa and her father Charles Musto are making to the Gateway Shopping Center in Edwardsville that they recently purchased for $10 million.

Musto says the center is at 90 percent capacity, and she hopes the changes they are making bump that up to 100.

"More aesthetic improvements," Musto explained. "We've already painted all of the lines in the parking lots and started painting poles and facades on the roofs and stuff, and some of that is getting pushed off to the spring now with the lovely weather of Pennsylvania."

Big changes like the murals around the shopping center and small changes like changing the paint color on the poles are things that the owners of the shopping center are doing that businesses here say mean a lot.

"I think it's a big deal because now the center is getting new life," said Eleventh Element Relaxation Spa co-owner Donna Caruso. "It's looking new, and the cosmetic changes really are what is going to draw people in because everybody knows the Gateway Shopping Center and the stores that have been here, but now we're getting this fresh look."

Caruso has had the Eleventh Element Relaxation Spa in the center for two years. A quick look around, and you can tell she values aesthetics. She hopes the changes outside her business lead to more people inside.

"But we're so used to our routines, and now it's something new to bring new people into this area. So we're going to get exposure to potential customers," added Caruso.

"I just kind of want people to be able to come here and have memories here. Whether it's with our national chains like Planet Fitness or with local people, restaurants, health care, you name it just you know, obviously I want it to be memorable," added Musto.

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