Developer buys Elyria's Midway Mall, mayor hopes for brighter future for the struggling mall

Namdar Reality buys Elyria's Midway Mall
Posted at 4:11 PM, Aug 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 18:21:39-04

Namdar Reality out of New York just bought most of Midway Mall for nearly five million dollars.

City leaders hope a new owner will breathe new life into the mall, which has been struggling in recent years, losing several anchor stores like Macy’s and now Sears.

"The city is very interested in how this goes,” said Elyria Mayor Holly Brinda.

Brinda said the mall still does 71 million dollars in sales every year, but is losing hundreds of millions to other malls in the area.

Before the purchase, a mall consultant out of Arizona did a study that found the mall could be vibrant again.

But, it would need to attract more shoppers with some outdoor shopping like a mini Crocker Park, office space, restaurants, apartments and a hotel.

Brinda said the new owner would need to fill some vacancies inside the mall and outlying buildings to get the momentum going.

"Their asset management group said they tend to work from the outside in, so their strategy really is to try to populate the restaurants that are vacant in the mall area first, then begin to work on populating the inside of the mall," Brinda said.

Brinda said shopping habits have changed with more people shopping online, and that big box stores are not the way to go for Midway Mall.

“When people do shop at a locality, they're looking for shopping at higher end discounts. We think that our market is conducive to things like a Marshals or a TJ Maxx," Brinda said.

Brinda is cautiously optimistic the new owner means business and will not just let the mall sit there.

There's potentially other good news - the empty Macy's store could be getting a new business.

"We do believe we have a buyer for the Macy's property. There's a company that specializes in power sports like sea do's, snowmobiles and ATV's," Brinda said.

Namdar Reality declined to comment for this story.