One of his first priorities as the new owner of the Woodville Mall is to repair the roof and replace much of the carpeting, says Mike Kohan, who completed the purchase recently.
The New York businessman said the purchase price was $700,000.
He and associates were in town this past week to inspect the mall and introduce themselves to local officials.
Kohan, who has been buying malls throughout the Midwest in recent years, said he’s still assessing the Woodville Mall’s condition but was planning to invest in extensive renovations.
“The condition was worse than we thought. But that’s OK, we are up for a challenge,” he said.
And within a month he’s intent on opening some of his own stores, including clothing and children’s shops as well as shoe, toy, and book stores.
“I want merchants in the town of Northwood to know that I am here to help them,” he said. “I am more than willing to give them a good offer.”
He said he won’t know what the price for leased retail space will be until he’s completed his evaluation of the mall.
Kohan said he also wanted to improve service for current tenants
With the recent closing of the Elder-Beerman store, only two anchor stores, Andersons and Sears, remain. More than half of the smaller tenants have also left. The Elder-Beerman store space and Sears store are separately owned.
Pat Bacon, Northwood City Administrator, said Kohan and Stephanie Kissling, mall manager, stopped by the city administration building last week to acquaint city officials with his plans for the mall.
“He expressed a desire to reach out and bring former stores back to the mall and said they’ve had talks with some of the previous tenants, including the Fox Theater,” Bacon said.
She said the city had no contact with the previous owners for nearly two years.
The city is establishing a central business district for the corridor along Woodville Road, which would include the mall site.
Bacon said the goal is to establish a downtown identity for the corridor.
“This is something that is going to take 10 or 15 years,” she said, adding the district designation could help the city in its efforts to secure state grants for the commercial sector.
A little more than a year ago, Kohan purchased the Village Square Mall in Effingham, Illinois. He told the Effingham Daily News then he believed that mall was well positioned to compete against merchants on the north side of the city by charging $5 or $6 per square foot for leased space.
Late last year he purchased the Northland Mall in Worthington, Minnesota. and this past June he completed the purchase of the Jamestown Mall in St. Louis County, Missouri.