GALVESTON-Island Realty Partners Ltd. has contracted to buy the old Galvez Mall site for a retail redevelopment.

The Galvez Mall, which sits on 30 acres of land near the entrance to this island city, has been closed since 1996. Island Realty has proposed tearing down the old mall and developing a 300,000-sf power center with a home improvement store and other big box retailers. The site is along Interstate 45, just north of 61st Street.

The purchase of the property is nettlesome. The owner of the mall, Galtex Property Investors Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September. In order to purchase the property, Island Realty Partners must get the court’s approval. A ruling by the bankruptcy judge is expected in about a month.

The abandoned mall has been viewed as an eyesore by city officials. The Galvez Mall had gone into a slide when its key anchor, Sears, had moved out in the early 1990s. Sears had relocated to the Mall of the Mainland near Texas City. Without Sears, the mall began to attract fewer shoppers and soon other retailers departed, making the closure of the mall a necessity.

The CB Richard Ellis firm has been marketing the property. Island Realty is a partnership of Randy Hall, the president of Houston-based Sonrisa Properties LLC, and Tod Ruble, president of Dallas-based Cambria Capital Corp.

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