We appreciate the local efforts to revive the Kyova Mall.
The Boyd County Fiscal Court is tackling this project. Reporter Rachel Adkins documented how Judge-Executive Eric Chaney and Economic Development Director T.J. Morrison have met with Kyova Mall Owner Johnny Eggleston to discuss the mall.
“We’ve been accruing a lot of contacts over the past month and a half and we have some people that are very interested in coming to look at different plots of land and look at that mall ... We’re moving forward. It’s going to be something that we can’t fix overnight,” said Chaney.
Anyone who frequents the mall knows what the story said -- the number of retail tenants at the mall has dwindled. The biggest loss recently was Elder-Beerman. Elder-Beerman is owned by Bon-Ton Stores Inc., which announced a little more than a year ago that 256 Bon-Ton Stores Inc. stores, including Elder-Beerman, were being liquidated. The store was a major presence at the mall since the late 1990s. It was an anchor tenant. Losing this retailer hurt badly.
The county’s community and economic development department is now in the process of producing a video to help attract businesses to the mall. A video emphasizing the importance of the mall and recruiting new occupants appears likely.
For his part Chaney said he feels the Kyova Mall has not been advertised the way it needs to be, pointing out it is a great place to have a business. He noted several different types of businesses could utilize space at the mall. He believes there is big potential to enhance commerce at the facility with the ultimate goal to attract busineses and put people to work.
“There’s nothing wrong with that mall, the location is perfect, the amount of traffic is perfect, it just needs a little push and that’s what we’re here to do,” said Chaney.
We agree. We state the obvious in noting the changing tides of the economic landscape are very challenging. Online shopping is a continued force that traditional retailers struggle with. Our view is that Boyd County needs to do everything it can, within reason, to work to give the Kyova Mall some new life. So what would help accomplish this?
We think the mall is primed for a major new retailer, perhaps a big box type retailer currently not in the immediate East Kentucky market. There is a lot of space available. There is also a very solid traffic pattern that goes back and forth in front of this mall every single day. There is potential here.
Whatever the strategy, there are a lot of Boyd County residents who would benefit greatly from revitalizing the mall. We commend the leadership in trying to tackle this. Doing so is in the best interests of the community and the businesses currently at the mall.