HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — As stores continue to close at the Valle Vista Mall, the community said it is sad to see the mall slowly lose its liveliness. It is a place many people share memories but was called an “eyesore” by Harlingen community leaders.
However, Mike Kohan, the CEO of Kohan Retail Investments and owner of Valle Vista Mall said he is making sure the mall does not shut down.
Kohan said he is determined to not abandon it, even after some mall tenants left, causing him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“Why would I put in $12 to $14 million in the mall and forget about it,” said Kohan.
Kohan took over Valle Vista Mall in 2018. He announced then his plans for revitalization, but after three years that plan has yet to be accomplished.
Kohan said one of the reasons is the effects of the Trump Administration.
“So they would not let any immigrants through. reducing the traffic into this mall.” said Kohan.“What happened in the past four years and stopping the traffic and that hurt us.”
Kohan said the mall is at zero percent risk of going under.
“I hope that I’m going to be able to bring it back at least close to what it was,” said Kohan.
Kohan hopes he can attract other tenants and keep current ones happy.
“Thinking about alternative use in these boxes, that is going to create traffic, a call center is one, a medical facility is another one, entertainment is one of the best ones,” said Kohan.
Kohan added retail suffered uncertainty due to COVID-19.
“It’s not easy, I want people to be patient and believe what I am doing is best to help the mall as much as we can,” said Kohan.
KVEO also reached out to Raudel Garza, the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation Director who had “no comment” at this time.