EDDYVILLE - The West Kentucky Factory Outlet Mall might soon have new owners and a new look, according to Mayor Nancy Slaton.
The mayor said a Mayfield investment firm is in the process of buying the mall, with closing of the sale expected in the next few weeks.
"I've met with them (the investors)," Slaton said. "They plan to revamp the whole exterior, the way you park, everything. It's just a really positive thing for the community ... I'm very excited." Slaton declined to identify the investment firm.
Ryan Drane, president of Graves Growth Alliance, said his group is focused on industrial development and was not aware of the potential investors.
Slaton said she remembers when the mall was thriving. "I moved here in 2000, and it was going strong then," said the mayor. Over the years the number of stores has steadily declined, and "recently the last store moved out."
A revamped mall will help the local economy, and be another way to attract people to the area as the lakes and water park do now. "It will bring more people to our area. It will have a snowball effect."
The mall was developed in 1988 by Lyon County businessmen Ben and Bob Jent. At its peak, all sites were occupied, and about 3 million people visited the shopping complex annually. The number of shoppers declined after several large manufacturers, such as OshKosh, Polo and Jonathan A. Logan, closed their stores.
Bankers Trust Company of California in Irvine, which filed a foreclosure lawsuit against the mall and its developers in Lyon Circuit Court in July 1999, bought the complex in August 2000 for $7.5 million during an auction. The sale was an effort to pay a $9.1 million debt to the California bank and cover several thousand dollars in judgment, loan late charges, interest payments and legal fees.
Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.