A Year of Change Brings Hope to Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville

The past year brought numerous changes on large and small scales, and the Ohio Valley Mall was no exception.

Last year saw several long time stores leave the mall, among them anchor stores K-Mart and Elder-Beerman, which had been open for many years at the shopping center. Electronics store hhgregg, located outside of the actual mall, also closed its doors as many of the stores nationwide shut down.

But even as businesses closed, several new stores moved in to fill the gaps. After hhgregg moved out, Levin Furniture announced it would be moving in to fill the store, officially opening in October. The furniture store is no stranger to the mall, as it occupied the former J.C. Penney space from 2009 until 2013.

Elder-Beerman left quite a large space to fill at the mall, but in September Marshalls department store stepped into a portion of the space that had been occupied by Elder-Beerman since 1998.

“I think a lot of us feel really gratified,” said Joe Bell, a spokesman for the Cafaro Co., which owns the mall. “There’s been a lot of hard work by the people who do our development and leasing work. They work very hard to find best possible new additions to the complex.”

Other businesses recently opened in and around the mall to help residents satisfy their cravings for sweets. Division One Donuts provides fresh, made-to-order doughnuts with a sports twist, and occupies a space outside the mall previously occupied by Simply Yogurt. Inside the mall, Sweet Treats Featuring Jelly Belly is located by the Kids Zone, and offers a large selection of candy for patrons. The store also serves Hershey’s ice cream.

The mall’s movie theater changed hands, as well, with Carmike Cinemas supplanted by AMC Theaters.

The Ohio Valley Mall still has room to grow and expand as the new year begins. The empty space left by K-Mart still has yet to be filled, and there is still space previously occupied by Elder-Beerman standing empty. However, the mall is planning on filling some of the empty space with Tilt Studio, a large arcade and family entertainment center that they hope will help draw more visitors of all ages to the mall.

“Aside from continued success of smaller retailers, we’re always looking toward the next thing that is happening,” Bell said. “Every year, dozens and dozens of store concepts are hatched, and our people talk almost every day with local regional and national retailers.”

Looking to the future, officials are hopeful that the mall will continue to grow.

“We’re definitely excited to be starting with new tenants and looking forward to 2018,” said Candi Noble-Greathouse, Ohio Valley Mall marketing director.