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JONESBORO, AR-If it goes according to plan, a 40-year-old mall will be in the hands of local developers by fall. The 32-acre, 385,641-sf Indian Mall, marketed for $15 million by Warmack & Co. LLC of Texarkana, TX, is under contract to MBC Holdings LLC.

“We’re under contract now to purchase the property and are now starting on due diligence for the next 60 days,” says Marty Belz, one of MBC Holdings’ partners. Belz, who is teaming with local developer Bruce Burrow, says the plan is to convert the asset at 1901 S. Caraway Rd. into a lifestyle center by renovating part of it along with razing some space and rebuilding. The precise plan, including budget and project size, will be determined during due diligence.

“We’re looking to redevelop the site,” Belz tells GlobeSt.com. “This is definitely an older property, but has an excellent location in the city and we believe this redevelopment is a great opportunity for us.”

When Indian Mall came on line in 1967, it had the distinction of being Arkansas’ first enclosed mall. Its present occupancy isn’t available, but Belz says a number of tenants have left and others are holding on with month-to-month leases. “The only lease with any time on it is Sears. And, we hope we can fit them into a new store through redevelopment,” he says.

Many tenants have moved to the 760,000-sf Mall at Turtle Creek at 3000 E. Highland Dr., which came on line in 2005 and is less than one mile to the east. The Mall at Turtle Creek was developed by Belz, Burrows and David Hocker & Associates Inc. of Owensboro, KY.

Area experts suggest mall competition wasn’t the only reason for Indian Mall’s decline. Warmack has been liquidating its assets for several years, including malls in Fort Smith, AR, and two in Texas.

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