No updates on Upper Valley Mall redevelopment as another store closes

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Another store closes at Upper Valley Mall

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Another store at the Upper Valley Mall has announced its closure — leaving behind questions about the future of the nearly vacant shopping venue.

Victoria’s Secret will close its doors for good at the Upper Valley Mall on Wednesday, Jan. 15, according to L Brands, a parent company of Victoria’s Secret. The store has already begun to mark down products, with some up to 65% off.

“We can confirm that our Victoria’s Secret store at the Upper Valley Mall will be closing and Jan. 15 is scheduled to be its last day of business,” a statement from the company said.

L Brands said they had no further comment on why the store is closing, or whether or not the store plans to relocate somewhere else in the county.

Victoria’s Secret, a women’s lingerie, chain, is one of the few remaining stores in the Upper Valley Mall after a string of closures in recent years.

The mall currently has 12 storefronts open as of Thursday afternoon, not including Victoria’s Secret. Storefronts 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.

The mall was a hub of retail in Clark County for decades but has watched as longtime anchors like J.C. Penney and Macy’s, along with numerous smaller chains, have closed.

See photos: Looking back at Upper Valley Mall in Springfield

Sears was the most recent to leave the mall, announcing in December 2018 that it would close. The department store officially left the Clark County for good in March.

The Clark County Land Reutilization Corp., otherwise known as the Clark County 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.

Since then, not much work has gone on at the site.

“We continue to work with anyone that is interested in revitalizing the property,” Ethan Harris, Executive Director at the Clark County Land Bank, said.

Harris directed all additional questions to Clark County spokesperson Michael Cooper. Cooper said the county has no update on the status of the property.

Talks of a sports complex coming to the mall were sparked nearly a year ago after Home Plate Sports Academy published a now-viral Facebook post in February 2019 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!”

More on the sports complex: Pickleball, basketball, and go karts? Upper Valley Mall could see big changes

The following month, the speculation around the sports complex grew after Northwestern Local Schools spoke about the potential sports complex at a public school board meeting.

Superintendent Jesse Steiner said at the time getting involved with the complex could benefit the district.

“The entire project is, I’m being told, a $56 million project. It’s a huge project,” Steiner said at the meeting. “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 sport’s complex’s owners.

Steiner said on Thursday the vote was nothing more than a vote of support for the project and that nothing has come out of it.

“We understand the county commissioners are still trying to work out a deal with an investor to sell the property and we hope that goes through,” Steiner said. “Anything that happens with the Upper Valley Mall that revitalizes that area is great for Springfield and great for Northwestern.

Clark County officials have never commented on the possibility of a sports complex, only stating they are, “always engaged in negotiations.”

More on the mall: Upper Valley Mall property ‘active’ but no work on new use

12 — Storefronts currently operating at the Upper Valley Mall

1 — Year since Sears announced they would be closing their location at the Upper Valley Mall

1971 — Year the Upper Valley Mall opened

$3M — Amount the Clark County Land Reutilization Corporation paid for 40 acres of property at the Upper Valley Mall in 2018

The Springfield News-Sun is committed to providing coverage of retail and business developments in Clark and Champaign county.