Despite rumors that began floating around social media and other circles over the weekend, the owner of the Pines Mall said Monday that she has not sold the property.
The Commercial received numerous phone calls and emails asking about the mall being sold to the Quapaw Tribe, the same group that is behind the casino being built in Pine Bluff.
“That all rumor,” said Pines Mall owner Judy Vu. “I have [a] company trying to ask, but I’m denying. I (would) still like to keep it for retail that will help better the Pine Bluff community.”
Additionally, Quapaw Chief John Berrey confirmed that no efforts have been made to purchase the mall.
“No, there’s no truth to the rumor that we are planning to purchase Pines Mall,” Berrey said. “But I’ll say this — we believe the mall’s potential for the future is unlimited.”
Art Co. of Wichita Falls, Texas, purchased the Pines Mall from Pine Bluff Income Properties in January of 2015 and have maintained ownership since that time.
Over the years, the mall has had several different owners, and the property has been in a steady decline. As with many enclosed malls across the U.S., internet shopping trends have caused foot-traffic to dwindle. Additionally, many of the national chain stores that were once open at the Pines have long-since closed.