Meridian, Miss. The old Village Fair Mall, which was also once the Value Fair Mall, which has sat abandoned for years, is about to see a makeover. RockStep Capital, a Texas company that specializes in acquiring, developing and leasing shopping centers, has purchased the mall, and is planning some extensive work for that area.
The East Mississippi Business Development Corporation says the developer plans to turn the area into a mixed-use facility with retail stores, restaurants, hotels and possibly medical facilities.
"Meridian is open for business," Mayor Percy Bland said. "The developers are seeing that Meridian has a lot of attractions and qualities that makes this area from a regional standpoint, a good and a big draw for people that want to make money."
RockStep Capital will also be leasing the old Lab Corp building. EMBDC says Meridian will reap many benefits from this development.
"I think the first benefit that we all recognize, it cleans up the entrance to our community," Wade Jones, president of the EMBDC says. "That sizable investment, which we don't know what it will be, but we know it will be a capital investment in buildings and structures, will also provide jobs."
Bland says he believes the location of this mall along 22nd Avenue will be in a perfect position to draw customers in to these new businesses.
"20-59, you see the visibility off the highway," he explained.
Allison Slayton, owner of the Sewing and Vacuum Center across the street from the newly purchased mall, says she's excited for the potential new business this could bring her store from that crowd.
"I think any time you have traffic, you'll have more customers. I think it would be great; it'll attract people from other towns and outside the area," Slayton says.
The company is still working with businesses interested in filling those spaces.