Galesburg optimistic new owner will bring new life to Sandburg Mall

GALESBURG,Illinois - New life could be brought to Sandburg Mall.

It's been bought out by a firm in Texas.

What was once the place to be is now the place no one seems to want to go.

"There`s nothing there," said Nancy Easley.

You can see why. At Sandburg Mall in Galesburg, there are doors boarded up and parking lots that sit bare. The Sandburg Mall has seen far better days.

"It`s very sad especially it needs to grow again and I hope these people can do that," said Easley.

Now people hope it can once again see better days.

Ken Springer, President of the Knox County Area Partnership says the firm hasn't announced its plans for Sandburg, but he hopes it can be redeveloped.

"The mall has been a mainstay in the community for a long time. I think there`s a lot of local attachment to the mall. We would like to see the mall thrived and you know do great things in the future, so I think there`s a lot of potential out there at that site," said Springer.

While this is the second time the mall has been purchased in the last couple of years, Springer says this time is different, "From what I understand the new owners are experienced in retail property. I believe they own several other malls around the country, so having that experience they`re going to bring some relationships to the table that maybe the prior owners didn`t have."

For Galesburg keeping the mall from becoming an abandoned eyesore is essential. It's seen by some as the gateway to the city.

"When people first get off the interstate and first drive into Galesburg from the north, Sandburg mall is the first thing they see," said Springer.

The city created an enterprise zone around the mall at the start of this year. It's designed to help future developers by giving tax incentives to spark economic growth.