New Mall Owners May Help Business

Singing River Mall store owners and employees are unsure of the mall's future. That's because they found out the mall will be under new ownership tomorrow. While workers are concerned about the change, they're hopeful the new management will make some much needed improvements.

Rodger Dean owns Mary Anne's Ice Cream in Singing River Mall. His business depends mostly on shoppers needing a snack. He said he's ready for the new mall owners to bring a new flavor to the shopping center.

"We're hoping that the ownership will actively seek more tenants to the mall to increase the traffic in the mall," said Dean.

Right now there are plenty of empty stores, as well as many flourishing ones like My Favorite Things. Jim King is the owner and agrees with Roger.

"The more stores that you have, the better off any business is," said King.

There's also a rumor that the new management is from Ocean Springs. So we did a little research and found out it's true. According to the Secretary of State's web site, the new owner of the mall will be W. Lee Brumfield who lives in Ocean Springs. Employees and owners say a local owner could improve recruiting local businesses.

"I feel like there's a lot of potential here, and I feel like the new owners will bring that, since they are locally owned," said Allen McKay, an AT&T Wireless employee.

"I believe that a local owner will help tremendously because he'll be more in tune with Jackson County," said Dean.

The current owner is John Hancock Inc. Brumfield and mall managers were unavailable for comment.