Foreclosure sale scheduled for Fort Steuben Mall

The news has spread and now NEWS9 has obtained details about the foreclosure sale of the Fort Steuben Mall.

Local officials are reacting to this the same way and time as the general public, because for the most part they've been kept in the dark. Many found out via a legal notice in a newspaper that circulated on social media. It says the mall will offered at public auction in a Columbus courtroom on February 23 at 2 in the afternoon.

For local officials, the news is a mixed bag.

“It's not a…nothing to celebrate, but it's a great piece of property that could have great potential in the tri-state,” said Evan Scurti, Port Authority executive director.

This 821,000-square foot mall has been greeting residents from around the Ohio Valley since 1974. Now more than ever, the future is up in the air.

“There's no surprise on the struggles at the mall,” said Jim Mavromatis, city manager. “You can clearly see that the previous owners didn't keep that mall up like they should. They had it mainly for tax advantage."

City officials say that new ownership could breathe new life into the facility, adding the February 23 sale in Columbus will be highly anticipated.

“It starts with the upkeep of the mall, what people see when you first walk in there and when you walked in there you could clearly see that this mall wasn't kept up like it should,” Mavromatis said.

“I think it's a good opportunity for some key investors who are in the area to try and purchase it and keep the mall working with the city to keep the mall in this area and keep people employed here,” he continued.

Many point to shortcomings of anchor stores Macy’s, Sears and others as the main reason for the stumble. Sears closed in 2016 and Macy’s is scheduled to close this spring.

It's part of the reason why city and county leaders are hopeful new ownership will be receptive to businesses who aren't in retail.

“We look forward as a port authority, as an economic developer agency at partnering with whoever the new owner is on a marketing strategy,” Scurti said.

NEWS9 reached out to DLC Management as well as the mall's general manager. Our calls were not returned.

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