A developer has big plans for a struggling Tulsa shopping mall. Eastland Mall on East 21st Street could soon have a new owner.
News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims talked with the developer about his plans to revitalize the area.
Eastland Mall is far from what it used to be. The escalators are still running, but no one's on them. A few shops are open for business, but most of them are vacant. Despite the signs of decline, one local developer and long-time Tulsan says he sees potential. Ed Kallay with the Kallay Group: "so as we look at this area of town and we see other areas saturated I know movement is going to come here and I think this was a good idea but the timing was a little off and that's just bad luck.â€
Ed Kallay believes their timing and thus their luck will be better. They're working with Haywood-Whichard, the mall's current owner, to buy the 68-acre property. Kallay's idea, combine office space and retail, reinventing the mall as a place where folks can work, dine and play. "Lets bring some demand and make it better and I also think ironically its going to have the effect of attracting more retail."
Itâ€™s not a done deal yet, but Kallay says the possibility is generating a lot of business buzz. The downtown entertainment venue, the Hive, which recently hosted a tattoo convention, says they're interested in possibly expanding east.
In his search for new business, Kallay says he won't forget about the ones already there. â€œThe idea would be how can we make this better for both of us and I know they would appreciate more demand and I think if this is done correctly I'd like to keep as many as will stay."
Kallay hopes the buzz; the plans and some investment will have this mall full of people once again. He expects to close the deal on Eastland Mall in about 75 days.