Mall's Misfortunes May Affect Property Values

30 years ago Jim Solomon started a career, bought a home and never looked back. "My wife and I are both retired. We don't want to move," says Solomon.

And there are no plans to move even though Solomon's a little concerned Montgomery Mall's troubles could impact his property value. Two anchor stores are gone along with a few smaller stores, and just last Friday, a mall restaurant announced its intentions to close this week.

Solomon built his home in 1974 for $55,000, a few years before the mall was built. Although he's worried, Solomon believes the wrong move to make now is to sell.

"We're in an unusual situation. My wife and I are retired, settled and stable. I don't want to take on a new mortgage," says Solomon.

College professor Willie Fluker is of the opinion property values in his neighborhood at least will remain stable regardless of what happens to Montgomery Mall. Fluker lives in Gladlane Estates.

"If we're able to remain calm and not become emotionalize our values will continue to climb. This neighborhood is already stable, " says professor Fluker.

That is not to say Fluker doesn't care about Montgomery Mall. He does and so does Jim Solomon. Solomon even attended a rally last weekend in an effort to generate support for the mall. Solomon just hopes it isn't too late.

"I try to be optimistic, but it don't look good right now," says Solomon.

But there's always hope, anything could happen. However, several realtors say privately if things don't change in a hurry, you might start to see a decline beginning this summer.

The mall's owner and city leaders have already met at least once to come up with ideas to make the mall more attractive to potential businesses.