Upper Valley Mall, other retailers, prepare to reopen

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Upper Valley Mall reopening

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Upper Valley Mall is just one of many retailers preparing to reopen after being forced to close due to Gov. Mike DeWine’s stay-at-home order issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

DeWine announced on April 27 that consumer and retail services can reopen on Tuesday, May 12. Those businesses have been closed since March 24 in accordance with the order.

Ethan Harris, executive director of the Clark County Land Bank, said once the county got word they were allowed to reopen, they got to work right away.

“Once the governor said malls were permitted to open back up, we knew that we were going to reopen,” Harris said.

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Harris said the land bank has used the time that the mall has been closed to make needed repairs.

“We have replaced ceiling tiles that have been damaged, many leaks from the roof, and once the rain goes away we will continue doing that,” Harris said. “We have also been deep cleaning and continue to freshen up our flower beds out front for spring.”

The land bank has also been cleaning and preparing empty retail spaces at the mall, Harris said.

“We are actively looking to rent out those spaces,” Harris said. “Anyone interested in renting out a space should contact us.”

Harris said he couldn’t discuss if the mall has any retailer preparing to move into the Upper Valley Mall.

The mall currently has 12 storefronts open. They include; Hollywood Nails, Sheer Perfection, GNC, Bath & Body Works, Spencers Gifts, Emporium, Shoe Dept. Encore, Sonics School of Dance Gymnastics and Cheerleading, Popz Topz showroom, Foot Locker, Home Plate Sports Academy and Epic Loot Games and Comics.

While the mall is reopening, it’s unclear which of the mall’s storefronts will also be opening on May 12. Harris said if residents are curious about a specific store or business, they should call them directly.

Hours of operation for the mall will be 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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Shoppers aren’t the only ones excited about the mall’s reopening - mall walkers are as well.

Leslie Morris and her husband Bob are ready to start exercising at the mall again. The Morris’s usually exercise at the YMCA, but when gyms closed they began walking around the Upper Valley Mall. Since the mall’s closure, the two started walking outside around their neighborhood, but the hilly roads are hard on her knees, Leslie Morris said.

“We were wondering the other day when it was going to open again because a lot of people went mall walking there. We started walking in our neighborhood every day, but we noticed there weren’t a lot of people walking outside, which I was surprised about, we seem to be the only people walking since they shut it,” Leslie Morris said. “That makes me think that some people aren’t getting their usual exercise.”

Harris said roughly 100 people walk the mall for exercise throughout the day during normal operational hours. During the closure, the land bank has tragically placed hand sanitizer throughout the mall for both shoppers and walkers, Harris said.

All guests will also be required to wear a mask while in the mall.

Leslie Morris said she’s just glad to hear the mall is reopening.

“I think a lot of people really enjoy walking there,” she said.

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