Troubled Logansport Mall May Get New Life

Logansport Mall, a once bustling regional retail destination that has dwindled to a single store, may be in line for a rebirth.  Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell says he is optimistic a redevelopment of the more than 50-year-old property is in the offing.  “We have an agreement with a nationally-known retailer for the Logansport Mall and we have a developer from Chicago who is having discussions now with hotels and some fast-casual dining establishments,” said Kitchell.  “We hope to have other retailers soon and start flipping the mall.”

Kitchell talked about prospects for the mall and momentum in the Cass County city on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.

Logansport Mall opened in 1968 and quickly became a popular retail hub, anchored by big national brands like J.C. Penney and Sears.  But like many small towns across America, Logansport was hit hard by retail closures.  Sears departed in 2013 and J.C. Penney followed suit in 2017.

Today, the mall has just one store, sporting goods retailer Dunham’s, which opened in the mall in 1998.

Kitchell believes mall redevelopment is part of renewed interest in Logansport, Cass County and the region.

“I think developers are now going beyond the limits of urban centers and they’re trying to find markets that have been ignored for a long time,” said Kitchell, who notes local construction is up 50 per cent for the first five months of 2019, with much of the interest coming from developers in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Evansville.

Kitchell also credits the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network, a ten-county alliance aimed at growing the region into a global hub for next generation manufacturing and precision agriculture, with boosting Logansport’s economic and quality of life prospects.

“I think the branding of it is the significant thing,” said Kitchell.  “There is no Silicon Valley zip code in California…it’s a place, it’s a concept, it’s an identity and we hope to get that same identity for our manufacturers, our agribusiness people and especially our employment people.”