Negotiations are ongoing as Clark County leaders continue to work to redevelop the Upper Valley Mall.
The land bank is actively working to redevelop the property, Clark County Community Engagement Manager Ethan Harris said, although county officials wouldn’t say who the potential new user was.
“We are still in charge of and own the mall,” Harris said. “We have no information to share, but it is an active property.”
The mall still belongs to the Clark County Land Bank, he said.
Talks of a potential sports complex coming to the mall began to swirl after Home Plate Sports Academy, a business at the mall, published a now-viral Facebook post in February stating they had spoken with “new owners” of the mall and a sports complex was coming to the shopping center.
“The mall will be a multipurpose sports complex for soccer, baseball, pickleball, basketball, go karts, volleyball and competitions for various things,” the post said. “Launch trampoline center, movie theater, restaurants, hotels are all coming and much more!”
However, Clark County spokesman Michael Cooper cautioned at the time and again on Wednesday that nothing is official.
“We are still in negotiations,” Cooper said.
The land bank purchased 40 acres of property at the Upper Valley Mall for about $3 million in 2017, with plans to spark development on the German Twp. site.
In March, the speculation around the sports complex grew when the Northwestern Local Schools spoke about the potential sports complex at a public meeting. Superintendent Jesse Steiner said getting involved with the sports complex could benefit the district.
“The entire project is, I’m being told, a $56 million project. It’s a huge project,” Steiner said. “They are expecting to bring in over 400 jobs. This has the potential to change our community, our schools, to change this part of Ohio.”
The school board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Steiner and Northwestern’s treasurer to engage in “serious communication” with the sports complex’s owners.
Since then the school board has not discussed the potential partnership.
The Upper Valley Mall was the hub of retail in Clark County for decades but has seen longtime anchors like J.C. Penney and Macy’s, along with numerous smaller chains, close over the past several years.
Sears was the latest to leave the mall, announcing in December that it would close. The department store closed its doors for good in Clark County in March.
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