TEMPLE, Texas — On Wednesday, 6 News learned that the Temple Mall has been sold after being up for grabs for more than a year, which makes its shop owners hopeful.
The commercial real estate agency, The Woodmont Company, who listed the property, confirmed that the transaction was made in the last couple of weeks and the Kohan Retail Investment Group now owns the Temple Mall.
It's unclear how much the company bought the mall for but at one time, it was listed for $10 million.
Store owners in the Temple Mall say its new ownership is a group that they hoped would own it several years ago. Now that it has happened, shop owners are hopeful for the future.
"It's no secret that malls are declining because people shop online, they socialize online," said Robert Brandenburg, who owns Peggy's Coffee Shop, Under My Skin and Candy & More in the Temple Mall. "The mall is not so much the destination but if each entity in the mall can be a destination we can still see that traffic."
It's all about the foot traffic for Brandenburg. Even though it's a retail space with low numbers, he says he's had great success because he put his stores on the map.
He has built a strong customer base and hopes the rest of the stores and the overall mall can do the same, especially under new ownership.
"I know people want to see cooperate big name stores in our mall -- I get that, that's what people want, but there are small local businesses right now that are keeping it alive and if those are supported and those thrive and demographics can be looked into where those corporations can see there is successes -- they will come," Brandenburg explained.
He wants citizens to show the new owners that the Temple Mall can be a thriving space, but it needs community support.
"New owners can go one to two directions, doesn't mean anything other than we have new owners," he explained. "I think that if they see something that can come profitable in Temple, Texas, then they're going to invest."
Brandenburg told 6 News there have already been positive signs since Kohan Retail Investment Group took over -- it's the little things giving him hope, he said.
"There is something to be said when we notice some of the lawn maintenance being taken care of and parking lot being picked up," he said. "We notice things that are being checked off a list of maybe needing a repair-- things of that nature."
He doesn't want people to get their hopes up because expectations are set high for the Temple Mall, but he does ask for the support so owners and investors see Temple as the place to be.
President and CEO of the Temple Economic Development Corporation Adrian Cannady says no plans have been shared by the new owners for the mall's future but they're always pleased when investors outside the community recognize the opportunity Temple presents.
6 News has reached out multiple times to the new owners over the past few days to find out their plans for the mall, but we still have not heard back by the time this article was published.
Based off the company's website, they own quite a few retail spaces across the country and based off some research, they have been credited for turning struggling retail spaces around.
It's a waiting game to see what the future of Temple Mall will be.