Blue Mountain Mall coming back

Blue Mountain Mall coming back
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Holiday shoppers will have another option next year. While we know it doesn't help if you need something at the last minute, it's an encouraging sign in Walla Walla. Stores at the Blue Mountain Mall will be open for business.

When it opened in the late 80s, the Blue Mountain Mall was a premiere shopping destination. Only one store still stands, but nearly 50 acres is covered in graffiti and overgrown weeds.

Susan Steck can't wait for the mall to reopen. She said, "I miss the mall. I used to shop there all the time when we had stores."

She tells says she doesn't have time to go to the Columbia Center Mall in Tri-Cities. By this time next year, she won't have to.

After a few false starts by previous buyers, it looks like the new owner plans to make good on its promise.

The goal? Turn this entire ghost town into a shopping mecca. One that'll keep shoppers and sales tax dollars in town rather than sending them to Tri-Cities.

Zelman Development is in charge of transforming the property. It's had success with other large malls in California.

Development will happen in phases: starting with the buildings already standing. Work that was started by other construction companies then abandoned will be used as well.

Susan wants variety. She said, "Different things that we don't have around here that you have to drive all the way to Tri-Cities to buy."

Other malls the developer worked on include stores like Target, Kohl's and Lowe's. There's no official word on exactly which stores will move in here.

The developer is in talks with a sporting goods, clothing and shoe stores as well as some restaurants.

"I think it's going to be a sure thing this time," said Susan.

Something people here hope bring this part of Walla Walla back to life.

The first phase of construction will get underway next spring.