The Valle Vista Mall in Harlingen has a new owner with a plan to help the property thrive once again.
The mall has some major brands and on Wednesday, shoppers were seen walking up and down the main hallway.
But another sight that was apparent are the rows of closed storefronts— especially down the dimly-lit hallway leading to Sears.
Mari Cruz Reyes from San Benito was shopping across the street and says she grew up going to the mall.
“I would go all the time for school shopping and stuff, my mom would take us there a lot,” Cruz Reyes said.
But she says she hasn’t needed anything from the mall lately. The new owner’s plan might attract more businesses, especially those that are unsure if they will be successful long-term.
“All we care about is to increase the traffic in the mall,” said new mall owner Mike Kohan.
Kohan is also the owner of New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group, which bought the Valle Vista Mall two weeks ago.
Kohan’s company paid $12.5 million for the property on the corner of Expressway 83 and Interstate 69-E.
The company also owns several distressed malls across the country with the same plans to turn them around.
Kohan says he is going to allow tenants to opt for short-term leases and attracting more businesses that provide professional services.
“If you bring in an accounting firm or urgency care […] they obviously have clients that come and visit them,” Kohan said.
Kohan hopes that with the current traffic at strip malls across the street, the mall might get even more traffic than what it has now.
The new owner of the Valle Vista Mall says he wants to meet with Harlingen city leaders in the future in order to consider the needs of such prime real estate in the city.