New owners hope to transform West Ridge Mall
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - West Ridge Mall officially has new owners.
Among their top priorities is transforming the Topeka retail center into a desirable destination for both business and community members.
“We’ve talked to a couple of different firms that kind of specialize in how can you rethink malls in a way to make them a little more multi-purpose,” said Cody Foster, co-owner of West Ridge Mall.
Foster believes the track record of both him and his business partner, David Callanan, make them just the right people to turn around the fortunes of the Topeka mall.
He said they have already started working to improve the mall just days after their purchase was finalized.
“Escalators, air conditioning, landscaping, the parking lot looks a little better, I think they did patch up a few of those things. But I think immediately you’ll see us get to work on improvements. We want to give the tenants some certainty about the direction we’re going and keep the tenants that are here locked in.”
Petland owner Staci Williams has operated her store inside of West Ridge Mall for a decade. She’s thrilled about the new owners.
“I couldn’t be happier. This is truly a blessing for the city of Topeka and West Ridge Mall,” said Williams.
Other retail tenants echoed those sentiments and noted the importance of having owners based in Topeka.
“Just having somebody vested in the community that wants to do what’s right for the community and take strides forward in doing so,” said Jock’s Nitch general manager Jason Oliver.
Foster said success doesn’t happen overnight, but he’s already envisioning what a redeveloped West Ridge Mall might look like down the road.
“We plan to take about the next 8 to 12 months to really figure out what a multi-purpose concept would look like,” said Foster. “So office space, what would that look like? Where would make the most sense if we tried to do housing, dining, and entertainment? That’s probably gonna take us up to a year to really put that plan in place, and then once we get something we’re comfortable with, then we’d start construction on some of those components too.”
Foster added that he has already had discussions with multiple businesses about possibly moving into West Ridge Mall.
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