National retailer to close store at Upper Valley Mall

Hot Topic is the latest national retail chain to announce plans to close its doors at the Upper Valley Mall, the store announced in a Facebook post.

Officials at the chain’s corporate office could not immediately be reached for comment. But the store said it will shut its doors for good on Sept. 23 after more than a decade in business.

DETAILS: Store closing at Upper Valley Mall, moving to Bechtle Avenue

“It is with a heavy heart, that we inform you of the closing of our store,” the store said in its post. “This location first opened in 2003, and there are a lot of memories, blood, sweat, and tears imbedded into it. I want to thank every single person that has come in and shopped here over the years, and all the familiar faces. We will miss it dearly.”

Brenda LaBonte, general manager at the Upper Valley Mall, said she was not aware of the store’s plans and declined further comment.

RELATED: Upper Valley Mall on the auction block

Hot Topic is just the latest of several other national retailers who have closed locations at the mall in recent years.

The mall has been the center of retail in Clark County for much of its history after it first opened in 1971. But the site has faced a challenging retail landscape and watched as longtime anchors like J.C. Penney and Macy’s have closed their doors. Other longtime tenants like MC Sports and the Upper Valley Mall Cinema 5 location have also closed in recent years.

In the meantime, county officials have stepped in to find ways to drive more investment back to Upper Valley Pike.

READ MORE: National retailer to move out of Upper Valley Mall, build store nearby

The Clark County Land Reutilization Corp. purchased 40 acres at the Upper Valley Mall for slightly more than $3 million earlier this year. The land bank is working with a private developer to find a suitable use for the property, but no final deal has been announced. Staff from the land bank did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

That deal means the land bank now owns about 60 acres of property at the mall. Land owned by Sears, the lone remaining anchor at the site, was not included in the transaction.

MORE BUSINESS NEWS: Upper Valley Mall at critical crossroads

Amanda Knott, of Springfield, said she used to work at the mall years ago but rarely shops there now. She said she’s glad there are efforts to redevelop the site.

“Obviously you want something great for the community, but what that looks like I have no idea,” Knott said.

Makenzie Brickman, a local high school student, said she’d like to see more updated clothing stores in the area although the mall has been losing stores for years.

“I am kind of sad about Hot Topic,” she said. “That was one of my favorite places.”

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