Save our Charleston Town Center Mall coalition launched to help save businesses

Published: Jan. 1, 2021 at 5:30 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Several stores will be closing in the Charleston Town Center in the next few weeks, and the announcement has sparked a coalition to help reverse the trend.

WSAZ learned Talbots, Sephora, Chico’s, and White House Black Market will be closing their doors throughout January. Earlier in 2020, Francesca’s, Hollister, Joseph A. Bank, and the WVU Fan Store all shuttered their operations in the Charleston Town Center.

“Now, four more stores are closing this month. That set off an alarm to me. We need to do something right now,” said state Del. Jim Barach, D-Kanawha. “This is all about starting a virtual coalition to save our Town Center Mall.”

Del. Larry Rowe, D-Kanawha, added, “We’re looking at something essential to the city of Charleston and Kanawha County.”

On Friday, community leaders launched an online coalition, Save our Town Center Mall, to get input from the public about improvements and ideas of what to put in empty storefronts.

“I talked to people from Charleston that would rather go to the Barboursville mall and do their shopping there because they feel safer and more welcome,” Barach said. “The second biggest reason is they have free parking.”

The effort to save the Town Center doesn’t just mean a place to shop, said Howard Swint with the Save Our Town Center coalition.

“We can not let the Charleston Town Center go dark. To go dark, it would create a ripple effect in downtown Charleston that would negatively impact the Charleston Civic Center and Coliseum convention business, and the property values of Laidley Tower,” Swint said.

While the online platform for the coalition hasn’t been set up yet, Barach encourages the public to use his Facebook page to give their ideas.

“People can use my Facebook page, message, or call me,” Barach said. “We want to hear ideas.”

The group is looking for ideas about how to improve the mall and other businesses that could replace empty storefronts.

The Charleston Town Center management team stated on behalf of the announcement of the coalition.

" On behalf of the Charleston Town Center, we would like to recognize the honorable Kanawha delegates for their interest and applaud their participation with a call to action... We all have a history with this shopping center. The management team welcomes future discussion and conversations on the city, county, and state levels reimagining the property.”

Charleston Town Center Marketing Consultant Team

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