Southgate Mall sale could be signal of growth
In a bright spot of economic news, a new owner has purchased the Southgate Mall.
Southgate Mall, LLC, announced the deal on Dec. 29. It's a welcome bit of news for the property, which has seen a decline in tenants – and shoppers – in the recent years.
Once a hub of activity in Yuma, it has gone through several owners since it was built in 1973. But the biggest decline occurred with the opening of Yuma Palms Regional Center in 2004, which drew away several of the businesses – including anchor tenants – from Southgate Mall.
The property faces several challenges, but there are some advantages to the location.
Sears and Burlington Coat Factory at Southgate seem to be a draw for shoppers, as does the trifecta of Toys R Us, Barnes and Noble and Pier 1 across 32nd Street, and Lowe's just down the street.
And Big Curve shopping center also sees some traffic, with stores like Michael's and Starbucks, not to mention the recently opened VA Clinic.
Another added bonus for the Southgate Mall is the NationsHealth call center – a company that plans on hiring up to 700 people – eventually moving into the empty Target facility on 32nd Street. That means there will be a steady influx of people positioned to shop and eat at Southgate Mall – providing, of course, that the new owners can successfully rehabilitate the aging property.
There are many options for what could go into the mall, based on Yuma's wish list for businesses. Every year, Yuma Sun Business Editor Joyce Lobeck asks for readers' suggestions on what they would like to see open here: Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, Costco, TJMaxx and Hobby Lobby often top the list, along with eateries such as Soup Plantation, Red Robin and Cheesecake Factory.
The new owners note they have lots of ideas for the Southgate property, calling it a “diamond in the rough.”
Hopefully, the new owners will be able to resurrect the property, draw some of the businesses Yuma has been asking for, and breathe some new life into what was once a jewel of the city.