Stores in Staunton Mall receive eviction notice under new owners, demolition a possibility

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 11:29 PM EST
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - While many stores were hoping to bring in more customers over the holiday weekend, many businesses at the Staunton Mall received an eviction notice from the property’s new owner.

According to a letter given to several tenants as of Nov.24, Asprey Real Estate sold the property to Staunton EM2 LLC and as a result of the sale, the new landlord has terminated the lease of month-to-month tenants.

The letter went on to ask business owners to vacate the premises by Christmas Eve (30 days). Matt Shiflett, the owner of Know Knew Books, just opened his store about a year ago and said he was shocked when he received the letter.

“We are finally in a position where we got set up and caught up and then next thing you know it’s all done,” Shiflett said.

Shiflett said they had just started to expand after J.C. Penny’s closed and begin to store inventory in other storefronts. He said he will now have the challenge of finding a place that offers so much space at a low price.

“We just inquired about a new place and it would be 4x more expensive than it would be here,” Shiflett said.

Another popular place, Hot Wok just remodeled a new storefront out of the old Country Cookin restaurant. The store reopened just a few days ago but also received an eviction letter.

“We were all just kinda surprised that we got it because we had just opened up and we’ve been so busy and everyone’s been worried about all the people and not about being kicked out,” Avery Leavitt, with Hot Wok, said.

WHSV tried reaching out to the property management who represents the new company but did not hear back.

According to County Administrator, Tim Fitzgerald, the county did receive an erosion and sediment control plan for demolition purposes.

The plan would need to be approved by the county first but he said most buildings on the property would be demolished except for Belk, Red Lobster, McDonald’s, and Dollar Tree.

Many businesses at the mall are now requesting the community to support them during these final days. Shiflett said his store is now looking for a private investor.

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