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Danville Mall's renovations near complete, Liberty Fair Mall's future considered by owner

Published On: Dec 24 2013 08:28:03 AM EST   Updated On: Sep 24 2013 06:07:58 PM EDT

The Danville Mall has an all new look inside while owners are deciding the fate of Liberty Fair Mall in Martinsville.


It's hard not to stop and stare. Harvey Daniel and his friends sat down on a bench to reminisce.

"A lot of them was made the year we got married. We was married in 1950," Daniel said.

They're everywhere. Pieces of Danville's history, the Wreck of the old 97, and well known history makers like Lady Nancy Astor, are plastered on the walls.

"I told some people over at a restaurant. You need to go it's like a museum," Daniel said.

But this isn't a museum, it's the newly renovated Danville Mall.

"I think it's the prettiest mall I've ever been in," Daniel said.

The pictures are a facade. Behind every wall of history is an empty store. Coles Hull, with Hull Storey Gibson Companies, LLC, the parent company of the mall, is working to bring in new tenants.

"Now that the renovations are finished we have a wonderful mall to showcase. And we're confident that we will have leasing success and be able to bring new retailers to the market," Hull said.

The renovations started earlier this year. Everything from the ceiling to the floor is new.

"We typically buy properties that are in need of some tender loving care. And so this is our field. This is our specialty," Hull said. "We felt that we have developed a formula where we know what renovations to do, what tenants to look for which tenants to approach."

About 40 minutes away in Martinsville, the only noticeable change at Liberty Fair Mall is construction of a new Marshalls.

"Flowers or trees, something to give it a new look. Just need more businesses here," said Betty Cobbs, a shopper.

Hull Storey Gibson Companies, LLC, also owns this mall that has a lot of empty space.

"It's a property in transition. We're trying to figure out what works best for that property," Hull said. "Whether that's as an enclosed mall or a strip center I think is, we're still figuring that out."

The company is also deciding whether it should be smaller, reducing the number of stores.

Kroger, which is on the same property as the mall, is planning a $4 million renovation and adding a gas station.