Grand Island Mall is getting a makeover

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Updated: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:22:32 CST

Once busting with customers and shops. The Old Grand Island mall is a shell of that these days.

"It's been slowly going downhill for a long long time," said Martha McGahan.

There are dark deserted corridors, empty stores, and peeling paint.

"Slowly they moved out and this is what we have left."

Developer Ray O'Connor wants business booming again. He purchased the land for 1.8 million dollars and has plans to give it a much needed face lift.

"His redevelopment of the Grand Island mall is a home run," said Randy Gard, President of the Grand Island Economic Development Corporation.

Grand Island officials are excited about the future of the old mall.

"He's got a lot of conversations with a lot of different businesses that he's working through its going to be a great thing," said Gard.

As you drive along 281 this is your view of the mall, not much to see. But Ray O'Connor plans to take advantage of the visibility of 281.

"When you have that much linear footage on the main corridor of highway 281 you can't let that kind of frontage sit there and not be utilized to the greatest degree," said Gard.

O'Connor wants to add more upscale stores for shoppers.

"Things change and they need to put in different things for different people to cover their needs," said Mary Cornett.

The purchase includes the stores from Shopko to Dollar Tree. Three of the existing businesses will be relocating. Foxy Nails and the Hastings bookstore will remain.