The ownership of Mitchell’s first mall is likely on the move.
The Palace Mall, built in 1965, has been on sale in recent weeks, and is under contract to be sold, Mitchell Realty broker Brian Elisaon said Wednesday.
The 151,000-square foot building has been listed with Mitchell Realty since Aug. 15 at a price of $999,900. The mall is on a nearly 10.4-acre lot.
The building has been plagued by empty retail spaces for much of the last decade. Currently, it has 129,218 square feet of leasable area, according to Equity Investment Group, which has owned the building. As of earlier this year, about 48,000 square feet of the facility — or 37.5 percent — was currently occupied.
Eliason said the mall listing went under contract in the last week or so, but said most of the details regarding the possible sale remain confidential. He said he believes the buyer is planning to convert it into storage.
Eliason, who has lived in Mitchell since 2017 and has worked at Mitchell Realty since June 1, said he has a background in commercial real estate from his previous home in Wisconsin.
“The mall is a really neat property,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s a tough time for retail sites, and we’ve had some big-box stores in town that have gone empty.”
Since 2016, JCPenney, Kmart and Shopko are the large-scale, big-box national retailers that have shuttered their stores in Mitchell.
The Palace Mall is the only South Dakota property owned by Equity Investment Group, which is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The building was most recently valued at just less than $920,000, according to Davison County property records. On the listing, the mall is called a “tremendous value … at an incredible price per square foot.”
“Properties like this mall are a good opportunity to spend a little money retrofitting an asset that might not be the home to retail any longer, but might have some other use,” Eliason said.
Other ideas on the listing for potential buyers include making it a “regional warehouse, indoor off-season storage facility for RVs, boats, bikes, an indoor auto/implement expo center, business incubator, indoor office or industrial condo, giant senior community center/health facility.”
Recently, JCPenney was the largest retailer in the mall at 23,500 square feet until it closed in 2017. Thirsty’s, a popular bar that was located in the Palace Mall, moved to a new nearby location in the Village Bowl complex in 2018. Between the bar and its casino, the EZ$ Pub, and the former nearby restaurant The Grille, it previously accounted for more than 15,000 square feet in the mall.
Earlier this year, the Family Dollar location was replaced by Dollar Tree. Both retail brands are under the same company, and converted the Mitchell mall location into a second Dollar Tree site in Mitchell.
Currently, the building includes a barber shop, hairstyling business, tattoo parlor, and a Chinese restaurant. Mitchell Telecom has a retail storefront and business offices at its mall location, while Navigant Consulting also has office space in the building.