In a post on Facebook last week, Marcie Rossi-Consiglio said to Boardman Township Trustee Brad Calhoun:
In the wake of all the Southern Park Mall store closings and the lethargic attitude toward mall shopping in general, imagine if we put some pressure on the Southern Park Mall to take on an overhaul project that could mirror what is being down at Firestone Farms (in Columbiana), but on a grander scale. Local shops, boutiques, coffee shops bakeries, etc. It could truly be a remarkable town center along with a great meeting place! Additionally, because it would be new and upscale, we could increase our portfolio of larger chains that have their own following, which would result in a resurgence of our town center. If something isn’t done about the mall soon, Boardman could very well end up with an empty eyesore for years to come. If we say it could never happen to us, I fear that we will have our eyes closed.
Trustee Calhoun offered the following reply on Tuesday, Mar. 7:
I forwarded this post to the Washington Prime Group (operators of Southern Park Mall) and the vice president of the company just called. Most of his discussion was confidential due to contractual dealings, but Southern Park Mall is a vital component of their real estate portfolio. They will be spending...$1.2 million in upgrades to the facility and are in negotiations with six, potential retailers looking to enter our market. They just transferred a new manager to the mall, who is excited about his new opportunity. They are going to be aggressive in providing events to bring shoppers to Boardman. So, looking forward to their commitment to our community.
Kathy Bagan Kurach replied:
The mall definitely needs much updating.
Kris Beil-Siman replied:
I really hope what they are telling you is true. I have been in and out of the mall for 41 years...and I have heard that spiel for most of the time....
Wendy McQuiston replied:
Perhaps they could lower the rent just a bit...We belong to model airplane local clubs. Years ago, we used to be able every springtime to put tables up in the middle of the mall...We used to get this for free...Then we got priced out. The mall started to charge rent---even charged for tables. The local clubs had to stop because the rent for the spots were so ridiculously high...Sad for us who really enjoyed it.