JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — There are potentially major changes coming to the Oakdale Mall, all with the goal of breathing new life into the area.
A proposed 12 million dollar investment could be coming to the mall in a move officials say would be the spark it desparately needs.
Three tenants would move into the old Sears building attached to the mall: Broome County, Lourdes Hospital, and Beer Tree Brew Co.
The largest occupier of space in the revamped Sears building would be Lourdes Hospital, which plans on constructing a health and wellness center at the mall. The county is planning on building a brand new workforce development center designed to help fill the three thousand jobs currently open in the county. Finally, if approved, Beer Tree would expand their production as well as create an eatery and beer garden, all moves officials say are steps in the right direction.
“We really believe this will breathe new life into the Oakdale Mall,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar (D). “Over the past three or four years, several anchor stores have left the Oakdale Mall and we’re probably gonna be bringing in well over a hundred county employees, and in addition to a number of people will be coming in as well, so more foot traffic.”
The plan would be for Spark Broome LLC, run by the Matthews family, to purchase the building from its current owners. In order to do so, it would require significant financial help from the Broome County Industrial Development Agency, but the organization says this kind of investment could really be the change the area needs.
“To undergo the kind of renovation they are seeking and to carry that tax burden, property tax abatements can be critical to make that project go,” said Stacey Duncan, executive director of the Agency.
The Agency voted Wednesday to move the project forward. From here, it will be open to a period of public comment in October, and then the Agency board will vote on whether to approve or reject the economic package.
To read the full proposal, click here.