Imperial Mall owners look to decide on closure in coming months

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - The end of the Imperial Mall in Hastings may be in the near future. Namdar Realty Group Director of Operations Jelson Santos said it is most likely the mall will close. They hope to have a decision made in the next 60-120 days.

In February, the mall was nearly immediately closed down by the state fire marshal. After an inspection in January, a list of things that needed to be changed were presented to the owner.

The owners had a deadline of Monday night to present a plan of what they would do to fix the issues. The Hastings Fire Chief Brad Starling said there were code violations with the sprinklers and some emergency lights. They will now move forward with the plan they presented.

“The state fire marshal did inspect the property and found deficiencies and provided those to the owner,” Development Services Director don Threewitt said. “Once that happened I had our guys go out just to make sure there weren't any considerations as far as the building codes or the electrical or plumbing codes. We did notice some minor issues there.”

Santos said there are talks with developers to potentially purchase the property. He said they have owned the mall for about four years now and they are taking major losses from it.

He said they will also have the land appraised to see how much it would be worth to sell it. Namdar Realty originally gave city officials a number of over $3 million for the mall, but developers say that is too much for Hastings.

Talks over the last year have brought ideas from the community on what they want to see developed there.

“our role last year was to start a discussion knowing this day was coming at some point not knowing when or how,” Threewitt said. “But our visioning sessions last year were about this area and a lot of them focused on the mall.”

Santos also said when the mall closes they want to give the current tenants plenty of time to find new locations to move to. They will negotiate the remainder of their leases directly with the tenants.