Major development plan aims to bring new life to former mall site
BOYD COUNTY, Ky (WSAZ) - A new development plan announced Friday by leaders in Boyd County, Kentucky would transform the former site of the Kyova Mall into a premier hub for sports, family fun, major events, retail experiences, dining and other entertainment.
The space in Ashland, Kentucky, that sits roughly two miles off I-64, will become home to a convention center, hotel and restaurant, a Malibu Jack’s, a revamped movie theater, farmers market, residential area, sports complex, distillery and retail businesses.
Officials announced Friday construction crews will break ground Monday.
The following facilities were highlighted in the initial blueprint for the Camp Landing Entertainment District:
The Northeastern Kentucky convention and expo center will be 75,000 square feet. It will be built out of a $5 million renovation project by the Body County government, making it one of the largest convention and exposition spaces in Eastern Kentucky.
The plan spotlights a hotel that will be attached to the convention center, featuring 300 rooms and will have a restaurant on the first floor. The hotel will also house additional, smaller meeting spaces.
Another build that will be funded by the Boyd County Government will be the The Market at Camp Landing. The total investment will be $1 million, officials say. The space will be used as a traditional farmers market as well as a venue for wine tastings, wedding receptions and other venue uses. It will be one of the largest farmers markets in eastern Kentucky.
The largest store on the complex would be a Malibu Jack’s. It will come in at 135,000 square feet and will feature a 16-lane bowling alley, full go-cart track, a mini-golf course, a laser tag arena, indoor coasters, 3D experience rides and a state-of-the-art arcade. Other amenities include a jungle gym, birthday rooms and a full food beverage service.
“This Malibu Jack’s will be their crown jewel of the company and make it one of the hottest destinations for families in Eastern Kentucky.”
The current independent movie theater will come with the sale of the mall, officials say. It will be revamped with modern amenities like the sale of beer. The restaurant space will also be modernized, the new management group says.
The Cedar Knoll Sportsplex would offer year-round volleyball, basketball, wrestling, pickleball and the opportunity for other sports.
“Tournaments throughout the year would create a steady stream of visitors to the facility and make a massive impact on our local economy.”
“Barboursville and Kanawha County have yearly soccer tournaments,” said Tourism Director Andrew Steele. “You get four or five of those, that could revolutionize Boyd County.”
The new management group says the distillery on the property would be either a small craft distillery or an extension of one of the larger established distilleries.
“We feel that an experience based, satellite location for one of the larger distilleries would be an attractive opportunity for them to be the first stop on the Bourbon Trail.”
The Boyd County Fiscal Court is hiring the company Retail Strategies for community development and retail recruitment. “The Commons” will have four to five retail shops.
The plan also calls for the construction of a housing complex with the goal of recruiting and retaining young professionals in the region.
Other items in the initial plan include the possibility of a kayaking slip and a walking trail.
The business Rural King already on the property will stay, officials say. According to the new developer, the business is in year six of a ten year lease, but they hope the business stays on the property even longer.
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