Springfield’s Upper Valley Mall is now under new management, and city officials are hoping the change will give the shopping center a new lease on life.
Wells Fargo Bank initiated court action against the Upper Valley Mall and the Simon Management Associates in June seeking to have it placed in receivership. The bank claimed Simon defaulted on a $47 million loan.
The mall opened in 1971, and Horton Hobbs with the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, believes for the most part, the Simon Group did a good job of running it.
"They brought with them the ability to bring in national brands as part of their overall portfolio to this mall," Hobbs said.
Hobbs feels that this is a good time for the new managers, Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties, to evaluate the kinds of businesses that will locate in the mall.
"Hopefully they will have that same kind of energy and ability to attract not only national brands, but growing regional brands as well," he said. "So, it will be a challenge for them to kind of get their arms around that, but it's a tremendous opportunity kind of at the same time."
Macy’s and Sears own their locations in the Upper Valley Mall and are not part of the court action. Urban Retail Properties will try to improve the financial condition of the mall as Wells Fargo looks to find a buyer for the property.