FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Investigate’ report, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner found out what the Northwest Arkansas Mall is doing to stay afloat.
A recent report shows 1 in 4 U.S. malls will close by 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic could make that number rise.
“I know that there’s this perception that malls are failing,” said Igal Nassim, Director of Leasing for Mason Asset Management. “We always like to fight the odds. If that’s what people are saying we’re happy to prove them wrong.”
Mason Asset Management is one of the owners of the Northwest Arkansas Mall. The company said fewer than ten stores at the mall have closed in the last two years.
“Some times there’s a negative narrative that stores are closing, but there is leasing still being done,” Nassim said. “Some of the tenants that left may have been bigger stores like Banana Republic, but the tenants that are there are doing well.”
The company said it’s exploring new ways to make the mall more appealing.
“We have a developer that we are negotiating a contract with on the six acre land parcel that we have,” Nassim said. “They’re going to be putting in a restaurant in the old Hooter’s space. They’re still figuring out what to do with the back five acres. Either they are going to build some multi-family spaces or some sort of development back there as well.”
Nassim said having that density on site will help increase foot traffic.
“I don’t know if it is going to bring people from Rogers, but I think that can definitely keep the people in Fayetteville to shop here,” he said.
The company is also looking at bringing in more non-retail tenants.
“We are based in New York and the mall is in Fayetteville, so we always encourage local people to come forward if they have ideas or businesses they want to see open,” Nassim said.
Mason Asset Management said it’s in the process of finalizing leases with new tenants. The names of the business have not been released, but they include clothing stores and restaurants.
If there’s a business you’d like to see at the mall, you can reach out to the company here.
If there is something in your community that you want to know more about, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@KNWA.com.