(Alexandria, MN) For several years the future of the Viking Plaza Mall has been on the mind of consumers. The status was questioned most with the one-two punch of Herbergers and JcPenneys leaving within a year of one another. It has definitely been on the mind of Alan Retinsky. He is the President and Founder of Lexington Realty. Lexington Realty owns dozens of mall properties across the country. After temporarily losing the mall to the bank, Retinsky recently bought it back in order with a goal of giving it new life. Retinsky was in Alexandria last week meeting with city and county leaders. He says he built the mall up about ten years ago from 60% occupancy to over 100-percent. He adds that he is not fighting the trends and knows what malls need today. He says he is open to and appreciates the help offered by the city and county. He says Alexandria and Douglas County have been some of the nicest people he's ever worked with.
Retinsky stated you can expect a mix of retail and service-oriented businesses moving in in the near future, although no signed agreements have been made. Retinsky follows that by asking the public to be patient as he is only a few weeks into being back in the driver’s seat, but says he is committed to making it thrive once again.
You can hear more of our conversation with Alan in the following clip (AUDIO BELOW)
Alexandria mayor Sara Carlson talks about the mall's new outlook. (AUDIO BELOW)