Blue Mountain Mall remains on market, interest in sale grows
“Skeletal” would be one way to describe the Blue Mountain Mall. Built in 1989, the 350,000-square-foot shopping center has lost occupancy over the years, with major retailers like Payless Shoes and Radio Shack closing and moving to different areas. While some stores: including Sears, Gottschalks and ShopKo: still reside in mall, the rest is nearly empty space.
Potential new owners, however, are looking to purchase the mall and revitalize it.
Amid rumors of the mall being torn down, Assistant Manager and Promotions Director Brandon Keane of CB Richard Ellis (CBRE) said in an e-mail that this was only one of the proposals. “At this time there is no confirmation to the speculation that the Mall will be ‘torn down.’… The Mall is and has been for sale for some time.”
According to a Walla Walla Union-Bulletin article dated July 12, 2007, the potential new owners are the California-based commercial real estate firm Western Development Partners, LLC (WDP). WDP describes their company as being able to “create attractive retail projects which strengthen and enhance communities and maximize the exposure and success of retailers” on their Web site.
The firm plans on leaving the bigger tenants in the mall while tearing down the structure around them, turning the mall into an exterior development rather than a enclosed space. The current stores on the property will remain open and will be renovated to fit into the new design of the mall while the demolition takes place.
Some popular national retailers, such as Old Navy and Staples, have expressed interest in the new property.
“It is my understanding that the proposed re-development will be retail focused with a significant portion of the out parcels [a piece of property located near a major store or mall] being utilized for major chain stores,” wrote Keane.
Keane expects the mall sale to close soon, but no available dates for confirmation of the sale have been finalized.
Meyer Properties, LP, a California-based commercial real estate company, is the current owner of the Blue Mountain Mall.
The company did not respond to an e-mail sent to them by the Pioneer about the sale of the mall.
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