LOGANSPORT, Ind. (WLFI) — Logansport leaders are working to revitalize the city. Mayor Dave Kitchell is hoping the recent purchase of the Logansport Mall will help.
Longtime Logansport residents remember the rise and fall of the mall.
“It was nice to get it here, we were really excited we didn't have to go to Lafayette or Kokomo so much anymore, back in the day when it first got here,” said Roberta Sturgeon, Logansport resident. “Then it all kind of dwindled. Now it's practically empty and it was pretty depressing, it really was.”
Mayor Kitchell calls it the mothership that brought retail and economic development to the east end of the city, and after more than 30 years the mall is now being repurposed.
“The Penney's building, that will be sold off as a separate parcel and it will be developed for hotel property, what this enables the developer to do is to use that money to put more investment into their mall site,” said Kitchell.
A Chicago developer has purchased the property, their goal is to bring a number of new retailers to the mall. And a national hotel brand is taking over the former JCPenney building. Mayor Kitchell said this purchase is a gift that will continue to give.
“It brings more people into the community to eat at restaurants, to buy gasoline, to stay overnight on their way to Purdue, or Indianapolis, or South Bend, or Fort Wayne and it also means more jobs for the people that are in the hospitality industry,” said Kitchell.
For Mayor Kitchell, if the city's a puzzle, the mall's revitalization was the missing piece.
“This is a retail trade zone, people drive here for 15, 20 miles to shop, to eat, to go to the hospital to go to the doctor and in some cases to work or go to school, and so you have to have that full complement of services,” said Kitchell.
Mayor Kitchell has not announced the name of the mall or hotel developer. He's hoping they'll be able to break ground before the end of the year.