With the success of the Newport Pavilion rumors have been circulating about the future of the Newport Shopping Center. The shopping center has been in existence since 1953 and according to their website they are the host to almost 40 businesses. While some businesses in the shopping center are more successful than others the space appears to be mostly vacant and has not proven to be a viable location to start a thriving business. Smaller businesses have a hard time surviving in the shopping center, which has prompted people to think that another super-store may have their eyes set on the property.
The rumor that Wal-Mart wants to purchase the shopping center to create a super-store in it’s place has come across the wire at Fort Thomas Matters with enough frequency that we wanted to address it head on.
I contacted Andrew Modrall who owns the laundromat and tanning salon in the shopping center to see if he had heard anything regarding the Wal-Mart take over.
Modrall spoke with Jaimie Niemczura, who is the manager of the Newport Shopping Center, and this is the information that Modrall was able to get from Jaimie:
“She said that the rumor of Wal-Mart coming to the Newport Shopping Center has been bouncing around for many months. She said that she has had no contact with Wal-Mart, or with any broker representing Wal-Mart. She is continuing to lease spaces in the Newport Shopping Center, and if Wal-Mart were going to take space in the center, or buy the entire center and use it for them, then leasing individual spaces to new tenants would be counterproductive. Any buyer of a shopping center is obligated to honor the terms of existing leases. So it seems to me to be a long shot that Wal-Mart is coming to the Newport Shopping Center, either as a tenant, or as a buyer of the property.”
The main thing to take away from Jaimie’s information is that any buyer of the property is obligated to honor the terms of the existing leases. If Wal-Mart were to move in they would have to honor those leases, or in a more likely scenario face a very expensive venture to procure the shopping center. It is Wal-Mart though; handling the price tag that goes along with those leases would not cripple the retail giant.
For now we can address the rumor, as it does not look like Wal-Mart is moving into Newport. We will continue to communicate with the shopping center representatives and bring you updates as it becomes available.