South Kitsap Mall sold

The South Kitsap Mall is under new ownership.

After many years serving the shoppers of South Kitsap, Glennys Gehring has sold the South Kitsap Mall to the newly-formed South Kitsap Mall, Inc.

At least 30 mall merchants will meet the new owners for the first time Tuesday.

“I think it’s going to be a refreshing change for Port Orchard,” said Mike Brothers, owner of Walk ’n Comfort Shoes on the mall’s lower level.

Brothers said the new owners haven’t had much communication with the business owners yet, but he is confident any changes will be positive.

“Anytime you get new ownership, it’s exciting because there’s going to be change,” Brothers said. “Port Orchard’s my home. We want to stay here.”

“We’re excited about the change,” echoed Dede Teeters of Armchair Books. “There’s a lot of new things coming down the pike.”

“I think it will be very positive,” said Debby Dreher, one of the only tenants to have already met new owner Larry Li, a representative of South Kitsap Mall, Inc. “They haven’t said too much.”

Li declined comment on his newly acquired purchase.

Dreher is the president of South Kitsap Mall Merchants Association (SKMMA) and thinks Tuesday’s meeting will provide the opportunity for merchants to have their questions answered.

“When someone new takes over there are always concerns,” Dreher said.

However, Brothers isn’t worried.

“There’s a lot of people that are going to be moving to the area in the next couple of years,” Brothers said. “This is going to be a key shopping destination. We need to find ways to invite customers in here.”

Gehring could not be reached for comment.

She currently owns Elegant Home Decor, Armchair Books and Guthrie’s Great Clothes and it is not clear whether she will sell the stores.

Gehring’s son Rick acted as the mall’s property manager, and owns Buck’s A&W restaurant located on the property.

Gehring’s daughter manages Rochelle’s Fabrics in the mall.

Most business owners currently operate on a month-to-month lease.

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