ALAMOGORDO – Change is underway at the White Sands Mall.
Maria Johnson, manager of the White Sands Mall, addressed rumors circulating the mall`s future amidst bankruptcy.
"I work for First Valley Asset Management Company and the mall is in what we call receivership, it`s part of a bankruptcy," Johnson said. "However, we are not closing. We do have a buyer and (the mall) is in the process of being purchased, however, the sale is not final yet and will not be final until Feb. 1."
Johnson said two stores within White Sands Mall are closing their doors, Bill`s Collectibles and Foot Locker. Johnson said the owner of Bill`s Collectibles is retiring. A source close to Foot Locker’s situation who wanted to remain anonymous said Jan. 24 will be Foot Locker`s last business day and everything will be removed from the store on Jan. 27.
The local Foot Locker inside the White Sands Mall willBuy Photo
The local Foot Locker inside the White Sands Mall will be closing on Jan. 24. (Photo: Tara Melton/Daily News)
White Sands Mall opened in March 1982 with J.C. Penny, Kmart and Bealls as anchor stores. Johnson said she also believes Zales was an original store of the mall.
"I think it`s really small and there`s nothing really to do in this mall," said resident Allyxus Trotta. "I don`t come here very often."
Johnson said the new management hopes to change that by updating and remodeling the mall.
"By this time next year, we should have some major work going on in the mall and we intend to make 2017 a profitable year for everyone in the mall," Johnson said. "Regardless of what store you shop in, please shop local and keep our Gross Receipt Tax in town because it benefits Alamogordo as a whole."
Some of the plans for remodeling include major work at the south end and bringing in two major companies, Johnson said.
"There`s two national merchants looking at coming to the mall if we do the remodeling," Johnson said.
Johnson said she could not name the two national merchants but encouraged residents to start letter or email campaigns to stores they`d like to see in Alamogordo.
"If customers want a corporate chain to come into Alamogordo, not a local franchisee but a chain that`s corporate run, they need to inundate these corporate offices with letters saying `We want you here in Alamogordo,`" said Johnson. "When these merchants come, we need to shop at them. You have to shop at the places you say you`re going to shop."