WEST RIDGE MALL: business owners fight for mall’s reputation and are excited for future

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Kevin Christiansen from Cafe Barnabas credits a lot of his success to the decision to move into West Ridge Mall 3 years ago.

“So many of the owners in here have a deep, deep concern not only for West Ridge Mall but for the Topeka community,” Christiansen said.

The mall’s current owner, Washington Prime Group, says they would save more than $3 million from the “planned lender transitions” of Towne West Square in July 2019 and West Ridge Mall in October 2019.

“It actually presents us with a unique opportunity to see and make some real changes that I think are going to have a long reaching and positive impact on the Topeka community,” he said. “It’s an exciting opportunity to reformat how we do things.”

An SEC filing shows Washington prime group owes nearly $40 million on the West Ridge Mall property.

But Christiansen says that won’t stop his business from helping keep the mall alive, and the possibility for a new mall owner is something he’s excited for. He hopes it’s someone local who will be invested in the community.

“Moving ownership from a larger publicly held corporation to a private community invested group of individuals, we would really see the mall take strides into the future to impact the Topeka community.”

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