WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Valley West Mall is officially headed to auction 47 years after first opening its doors.
A Polk County judge ordered the foreclosure of the shopping center on Monday.
"As a result of Borrower’s default under the Loan Documents, Noteholder has all the rights and remedies of a secured party under applicable foreclosure statutes, other applicable law and the Loan Documents," the judgment states.
U.S. Bank, the "Noteholder," is now the manager of all mall tenant rents.
According to court documents, as of May 6, the mall owed over $42 million to lenders.
Laura Johnson, Co-Founder and Director of Des Moines Children's Museum, said knowing that foreclosure is now official is startling.
"It concerns us a little bit. It's just a little bit less stability but we've had a really good experience here," Johnson said. "We really like it here."
Johnson has operated the shop since 2017. According to Johnson, back when she started, there were more people visiting the mall but she said since it reopened after Covid-19, there's been hardly anyone.
Katherine Harrington, President of the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce said the recent news is sad.
She noted it was something that was expected, and developers have already been looking at the property and reached out to the chamber.
Nothing is set in stone but she hopes it could be an entertainment area or something that revitalizes the neighborhood.
"It could use a new fresh perspective a new breath of fresh air," Harrington said. "What that looks like may vary…we hope we can create something that is a game changer."
Johnson noted she wanted whatever developer that buys the mall to help bring it back to life, and hopes shoppers still come out and support the remaining businesses even with an auction looming.
"If people want to see things in this area then they should come in and enjoy all the good businesses here," Johnson said.
The mall will be auctioned by the Polk County Sheriff’s office.