Central Mall has new owner; Port Arthur leaders share their reactions

Published 12:20 am Thursday, February 8, 2024

Port Arthur’s Central Mall is under new ownership and management.

The new owner, 4th Dimension Properties, owns more than 25 regional malls throughout the country, according to its website.

Some of their other properties include Almeda Mall in Houston, The Shoppes at Bel Air in Mobile, Alabama and Central Mall in Texarkana, Arkansas.

Central Mall is under new ownership and management. A sign inside the mall shares the news with visitors. (Natalie Picazo/The News)

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A sign inside Central Mall and on the website informs visitors of the change.

Port Arthur City Manager Ron Burton had not heard the news as of early this week but said he looks forward to working with the new owners.

Burton said city leaders are prepared to listen to the owners and welcome them to sit down with the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce and/or the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation to bring life back to the mall.

Mayor Thurman Bartie had not heard sale of the property had closed but knew there was someone interested in purchasing the mall.

Bartie said the city needs an owner in the mall willing to come down and modernize the facility and bring in the right anchor stores because Port Arthur residents have the raw product, which is disposable income.

Bartie said he learned some of this during a conference in Law Vegas two to three years ago. He learned the elements business owners are looking for.

“Thank God we have someone who wants to buy the mall,” he said, adding locals need to be supportive of the businesses here. “But with the antiquated thinking of some of my colleges and councilmembers, Port Arthur will be a ghost town in a few years. We can’t conduct business in 2024 the way we did business in 1960.”

A call to a representative of 4th Dimension Properties was not returned this week.

Tenants in the mall have dwindled through the years. Bed Bath & Beyond closed, along with stores across the country. American Freight furniture store moved into their spot in 2023 and other stores came and went.

Central Mall opened in 1982.