The new owner of The Pines mall said Wednesday that customers will see a few immediate differences at the mall beginning Saturday.

The new owner of The Pines mall said Wednesday that customers will see a few immediate differences at the mall beginning Saturday.

Houston, Texas, developer Andy Weiner will officially acquire the property Thursday. During a stop Wednesday at The Commercial, he outlined his plans for the facility, including an improvement in security.

“Security is an integral part of our plan,” he said. “We want to make the movie-going experience as pleasant as possible and we’re going to put security officers in the theaters every Saturday, starting this Saturday, and we will expand that to Fridays if necessary.”

Weiner, who purchased the mall from General Growth Properties Inc., said he was excited about the opportunity to buy the mall, “and bring it into the 21st Century.”

He has a three-year plan for the mall and wants to add 15 new stores during that three years: three in 2012, five in 2013, and another seven in 2014.

“We’re going to be aggressive in trying to bring in local, regional and national tenants,” Weiner said.

Another part of the plan involves creating a strategy that will attract children ages 1 to 7, including hosting events such as beauty pageants, bringing in cartoon characters like “Sponge Bob” and providing a place for birthday parties “where parents wouldn’t have to take their kids to Little Rock to have a party.”

Being involved in the community is a major part of Weiner’s plans for the mall, he said Wednesday.

“Any nonprofit group, fundraising group, church group, school group, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or whatever will be able to use the common areas of the mall free of charge,” he said.

Weiner said his group was competing against three other groups who were trying to buy the mall from its former owners.

“General Growth chose us because they liked our strategy of community involvement and our plans to turn around the mall,” he said.

In his brief time in the city, Weiner has met with Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr., some members of the city council, bankers and business leaders and he said all of them have been supportive.

“Without their support, it would be more difficult to achieve our goals,” he said.

In addition to The Pines mall, Weiner’s company owns a shopping mall in Vicksburg, Miss., which he said is in the second year of a three-year plan to turn that facility around, which has been very successful so far.

“I expect the same type of success here,” he said. “First of all, this is a bigger market and the facilities here are in better shape.”

Weiner said a number of national retailers are looking at the mall, and several plan visits here next month, but he was not at liberty to reveal the identities of the businesses.

“Our goal is to create a better shopping experience so consumers don’t have to travel to Little Rock to shop or be entertained,” he said. “We’re asking people to take a risk and try the mall again.”

There are no plans at this time to change the name of the mall.