A Marion County landmark is going up for auction once again.
A Trustee’s Sale for the Middletown Mall will be held on Tuesday at the Marion County Courthouse.
The mall’s owner, Steve Fansler of Pink Oak Properties, has until Tuesday at 1:30 to pay what is due. While it’s gone up for auction before, some people are showing interest in making it their own.
It was the first mall in West Virginia, opening in 1972. The Middletown Mall sits on 29 acres of now, mostly vacant storefronts.
Marion County Assessor Jim Priester is completing an income-based property appraisal of the site.
“The appraised value would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 million or a little bit less. Of course, it will change once we do the income approach for him simply because of the tenants he’s lost,” Priester said.
But one man has big plans to transform the place. Jeremy Groghan recently started a GoFundMe page to support his idea of turning it into an indoor beach. If he can buy the property, he will need nearly $250,000 dollars for the required deposit by Tuesday.
“I’m holding out hope that I might be able to get a last minute surge before tomorrow but if that doesn’t happen then I’m just going to look for the next opportunity. I’ve always wanted to be a ‘mallionare’ and I think if this doesn’t work then I’m sure something else will present itself and I’m going to keep working at it,” Groghan said.
So far, the page has been shared more than 5,000 times on Facebook, but Priester said the deposit alone won’t cut it.
“If, and I say if, a person comes in and is able to pay that money, then they would take over the property but again that’s probably just a payment for it,” Priester said.
Priester said he has received inquiries from several developers about the mall. He added that Fansler has shown interest in doing what he can to keep it.
“He has indicated to me of razing the property and starting as gradually and taking down part of it and redevelopment would come after that,” Priester said.
12 News reached out to Fansler for comment about the mall, but we did not receive a call back.