The Santa Maria Town Center has been sold to a new owner, which has plans to add a 14-screen Regal cinema in the two-story mall.
ERGS XIV REO Owner LLC will acquire the enclosed mall in downtown Santa Maria, according to a news release.
The company said it intends to demolish the vacant former Gottschalks department store space this fall so that construction can begin on the theater in early 2013.
The new mall owners also plan to revitalize common areas to attract more nationally known tenants, including restaurants and other retailers.
“It’s a redevelopment effort,” said Cris Zertuche Wong, asset manager with Archon Group. “There’s a strong interest to develop the center in the community.”
More family-oriented entertainment — like the existing gymnastics center — is expected to open on the mall’s second floor, according to Zertuche Wong.
She said amenities such as the gymnastics center and existing skateboarding park will be enhanced. A soccer training facility and a full-service baseball and softball center are part of the new plans.
Dave Pankratz, co-owner of One Way Boardshop on the mall’s second floor, said he’s looking forward to the changes.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Pankratz said Wednesday. “Finally, the mall is going to get what it needs.”
Pankratz said the shop’s skateboarding park would be moving from its current, temporary location on the second floor to directly beside the shop, which has been in the mall seven years.
He’s hopeful the mall will become “the destination for shopping” in Santa Maria.
“There’s going to be entertainment,” Pankratz said. “The people who took it over seem to have the resources. We’re really excited.”
Pankratz said he’s heard from mall owners that demolition of the old Gottschalks could begin as early as Monday.
Zertuche Wong could not say how long the sale has been in the works, or divulge any of its terms.
Mall owner Greg Kozak could not be reached for comment, but his company, Architectural Ventures, will serve as operating partner, Zertuche Wong said.