Dead mall in southwest Ohio could become business park after purchase

An Ohio-based developer plans on converting the Springfield’s Upper Valley Mall, which is slated to close this month, into a business park.

The announcement comes as Industrial Commercial Properties (ICP) has agreed to purchase the property for $2.25 million, according to a news release from Clark County officials.

The developer is expected to take ownership of the 76.8-acre property as well as the 811,000-square-foot Upper Valley Mall near Springfield in the fall of this year. However, that is dependent on when ICP completes its due diligence testing needed to complete the purchase, the news release added.

Chris Salata, the CEO of ICP, said in the news release that his company has a track record of repurposing freestanding big box retail stores as well as converting former indoor malls and retail power centers into business parks.

“Following the highly successful redevelopment of Randall Park Mall in suburban Cleveland, we recently announced the acquisition and redevelopment of Chapel Hill Mall in Akron. A project like Upper Valley Mall is right up our alley,” Salata said.

Traditionally, a business park is a development that can consist of multiple buildings that can be used for a number of different purposes such as office space.

Dean Miller, the senior vice president, of ICP indicated in the news release on Wednesday that they plan to convert the Upper Valley Mall into a business park.

“Our company has extensive experience with retail conversions and we expect our model for repurposing these centers into business parks will be very successful at the Upper Valley Mall,” Miller said.

“The location, demographics and amenities in Springfield are well suited for our redevelopment plans,” he added.

However, it is unclear when redevelopment would start on the mall property or when it would operate as a business park.

Representatives of ICP did not respond to a request for additional comment as of Wednesday afternoon.

Clark County officials announced in April that the Upper Valley Mall would shutter its doors for good on June 16.

Clark County commissioners and the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation, otherwise known as the Land Bank, made the decision to explore other opportunities for the property due to the loss of anchor tenants over the last decade.

Opened in 1971, the mall was once a hub of retail in Clark County but that has changed over time as longtime anchors like JCPenney, Sears, Macy’s, along with numerous smaller chains, have since closed.

County Commissioners previously backed a $3 million loan in 2018 to allow the land bank to purchase the property. The land bank has operated the property as well as the mall as it looked for interested developers.

Clark County Commissioner Melanie Flax Wilt said that what ICP has in store for the Upper Valley Mall is what the county was hoping for when it took ownership of the property in 2018.

“This will use the existing structure as a foundation for development, create new jobs, and support the remaining retail economy on Upper Valley Pike by bringing more people to the area,” Wilt said.

Facts & Figures:

1971: Year the Upper Valley Mall opened

13: Storefronts operating at the Upper Valley Mall as of April

$2.25M: Purchase price Ohio-based developer Industrial Commercial Properties has agreed to for the property

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