La Crosse mayor, business owner look to future of Valley View Mall amid foreclosure sale

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Valley View Mall will remain open for the foreseeable future, even as it goes through a foreclosure sale. Some city leaders and business owners are optimistic about what’s to come.

The mall has been in the La Crosse community for over 40 years, but its seen many changes over those years.

“Certainly over the last decade, we’ve seen a whirlwind of changes in retail. It just looks different,” said Mayor Mitch Reynolds.

And now, amid its foreclosure sale, it has a chance to change hands.

“This is something that’s just going to have to happen. It was taken by the bank over a year ago, so this is just the final step,” said Dale Grosz, who owns Black Forest Bistro in Valley View Mall.

According to the La Crosse County Sheriff’s office, that sale is set for March 8. But the mall isn’t going anywhere.

“It really creates an opportunity and a pathway forward for someone new to step in as an owner and create new opportunities,” Reynolds said.

A letter sent by mall manager Jeff Odom to mall tenants assured them it will be business as usual throughout the sale process.

“Just waiting for the final step, you know, who we’re going to be dealing with in the end,” Grosz said.

At Black Forest Bistro in the mall, Grosz says they’re still serving traditional German cuisine.

“Our revenue is slowly increasing, so it hasn’t really declined, other than January which is pretty normal across the scale,” Grosz said.

For the city of La Crosse, Reynolds thinks it is a good opportunity.

“A viable opportunity for either redefining that development, or adding new developments out there. I think we have a nice future there,” Reynolds said.

As for the future, Grosz is optimistic.

“I think it’s gonna be OK. The mall is going to exist,” Grosz said.

The mall manager’s letter to tenants says Hy-Vee is continuing construction and will open in late summer or early fall. The letter also mentioned several upcoming events that will continue as normal, including the annual Sports Card Show, Easter Bunny arrival and Girl Scout Cookie Sales.

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