The owner of the Kingsgate shopping center said the company is working to find the best tenants and renovate the vacant buildings it owns in the Kroger’s-anchored shopping center on Park Avenue West.
Skilken Gold’s chief growth officer, Ken Gold, said Tuesday the company was looking at the entire mall on Park Avenue West.
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Kroger Co. owns its own building, but Gold said Skilken Gold is looking for tenants for the vacant former Hobby Lobby store at Kingsgate Shopping Center, the former cinema site and the former JCPenney store site.
Gold said Skilken Gold has operated in Mansfield for 72 years and the company is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Operating a mall has changed over the years, he said. Letting teams are always looking for new tenants, whether it’s retail, medical, or otherwise.
“It’s still number 1 East-West Mansfield,” he said.
“We constantly ask ourselves what’s best for Kingsgate in retail?” he said.
On April 28, the former Kingsgate Cinema building at 1300 Park Avenue West was ordered for demolition by the City of Mansfield Building and Codes Office.
Earlier, building and code manager Marc Milliron said the former cinema had been demolished after an April 28 inspection.
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The former JCPenney building, just east of the theater building, was also inspected on April 28. It does not currently warrant any demolition or sentencing orders, Milliron said.
“It still has a working sprinkler system and structurally looks pretty decent,” he said.
“The two-story JCPenney building looks pretty good,” Milliron said. “There are no structural problems here. A new roof is needed.”
Both properties have been empty for years.
This week, referring to the former cinema building, Gold said that if a new tenant wants new space, Skilken Gold will demolish it and rebuild it. The same applies to a tenant who wants to use this space. Skilken Gold will renovate it.
He said leasing teams are currently in talks with two potential tenants, which he is unable to disclose at this time.
Skilken Gold is reviewing each vacant building and looking to invest in the mall to improve it not only for Skilken Gold but for the community, working in partnership with the City of Mansfield, he said.
In a letter to Kingsgate Shopping Center tenants, Skilken Gold Real Estate Development said: “As you are aware, many questions and issues have been raised regarding the Kingsgate Shopping Center property in recent times. And we want you to know that Skilken Gold, the owner of the building, strives to do what is best for the property, for all current and future tenants and for the community.
“We are attempting to work in partnership with the City of Mansfield and Richland County to find a solution that is in the best interests of all parties,” read the letter, signed by Eric M. Elizondo, senior vice president.
A copy of the letter was sent to the News Journal by the real estate company.
“We know this:
“After several years of working with multiple potential tenants for Units 1290 and 1300 (former theater and former JCPenney retail premises respectively), we have concluded that the current unit sizes and configurations do not meet the needs of today’s highest quality tenants correspond.
“The best option to support our letting efforts in the center is to redevelop the property. We are currently working with the City of Mansfield and Richland County to determine the best path forward. One option includes applying for Ohio State demolition grants and we are actively working to identify other options that will allow us to rehabilitate the property in a way that contributes to the economic and community development of the City of Mansfield. We will continue to update you as more information is known,” said Elizondo.