WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Brass Mill Center has lost popularity over the years, but the owner is hopeful that some changes could attract more shoppers.
The Kohan Retail Investment Group, based out of New York, specializes in turning around large, regional malls. The head, Mike Kohan, said the group is in talks with national chains to bring in more restaurants, retail and entertainment to the mall.
The Brass Mill Center is located just off Interstate 84. While it’s busier on weekends, the parking lots are bare on weekdays.
The Macy’s and Regal Cinemas have moved out of Brass Mill Center. A “for sale or lease” banner hangs where Macy’s used to be.
“Back in the day, it used to be more of a hangout for kids on a Friday night they would go to the movie hours upstairs, that used to be an attraction, that closed about a year ago,” said James Henderson, who was at the mall with his wife, Kathy, for its opening day in 1997.
Kathy Henderson remembers it being a lot more popular than it is now.
“We never had a mall this big in Waterbury,” she said. “It was really crowded and there were a lot of people in there. Over the years, it just seemed like it went downhill.”
The Kohan Retail Investment Group bought the mall and the shopping plaza, Brass Mill Commons, together last year for $44.9 million.
The Brass Mill Commons gets a lot more shoppers, but Kohan said it’s already back on the market for $30 million. Because the plaza is already fully leased, the company is accepting offers so it can focus its efforts on making the mall popular again.
News 8 asked customers what they would want to see in the mall. Jose Sanchez, a Waterbury resident, said he’d like to see more good quality clothing stores. Deiandrea Westbrooks said a Victoria’s Secret or Forever 21 would attract more customers.