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2:15 PM Fri, Dec. 14th

Prescott Gateway Mall sells to New York investment group, will include Hotshots museum

The Prescott Gateway Mall has recently been sold to the Kohan Retail Investment Group out of New York. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

The Prescott Gateway Mall has recently been sold to the Kohan Retail Investment Group out of New York. (Les Stukenberg/Courier)

Prescott Gateway Mall has been sold to the Kohan Retail Investment Group of Great Neck, New York.

The new owner, Mehran Kohansiek — who goes by the name Mike Kohan — spoke with The Daily Courier on Monday. He said his company paid $8.8 million for the mall. That’s about half the $16.3 million the Tabani Group, headquartered in Dallas, paid for it in 2012.

“Vacancies have to be filled as soon as possible,” Kohan said, noting that they are already “working on leasing that will help us to bring more tenants.”

He said some key factors in his decision to purchase the mall included that “the mall is pretty new; it was only built about 15 years ago. (It has) possibilities and opportunities, and it’s a tourist area.

“I have good feeling about this property. It’s a new property, and I don’t feel we’ll have any problem if we put enough focus in it,” he said.

Kohan’s website lists 23 properties his firm owns around the United States. The website says the company “sees the future of aging malls as a place of mixed use that is more than just for shopping.”

Prescott Mayor Greg Mengarelli has been in touch with Kohan, according to a press release issued by the city. Mengarelli said Kohan is pleased with the good condition of the mall, and that he is open to both retail and non-retail uses, such as medical offices and as a venue for special events, to encourage foot traffic.

“I am excited about this new chapter for the Gateway Mall,” said Mengarelli. “We look forward to working with Mr. Kohan and his company to revitalize this important property.”

Kohan said his company typically buys malls that have been underperforming and works to bring them to profitability; he estimated a 60 percent success rate at that.

Gateway, he said, would be a mall the company would look to “rent everything”—all the spaces—not to bring in anchor stores.

He added that they would “welcome any type of use,” not just retail.

Gateway Mall was last in the news in July 2017, when an undisclosed buyer bid $10 million for it, but that deal did not close.

HOTSHOTS

The plans for a Hotshot “education center” at the mall are still on. The agreement Kohan reached to buy the property includes a provision for a museum, or “education center,” to display memorabilia related to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire on June 30, 2013.

“I think it’ll be amazing,” said Amanda Marsh, widow of Hotshots’ crew leader Eric Marsh. “I think the community will love it, and a lot of people will come and be part of it. I’m really excited about it.

“It’s a great honor,” she said.

Follow Scott Orr on Twitter @AZNewsguy. Call him at 928-642-6999. Email him at sorr@prescottaz.com.