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Where business news starts in Boise.

New owner for Nampa’s Karcher Mall, big changes could be ahead

The area’s first mall has a new owner – and big changes could be ahead.

Karcher Mall opened in 1965 on Karcher Blvd. in Nampa. It remained the largest mall in the area until Boise Towne Square opened in Boise in late 1988.

In recent years, vacancy at the mall ebbed and flowed. Currently, more than a third of its retail space is empty.

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According to the Canyon County Assessor, the mall changed hands Friday to a new owner based in Livermore, CA. Rhino Karcher, LLC is controlled by Sanjiv Chopra, who also serves as CEO of the Fit Republic gym chain.

An investment firm is offering investors a chance to help back loans on the property. Ignite Funding says Rhino will partially demolish the mall, and convert it to a lifestyle center. That move would have stores facing outward instead of to an internal common area. Karcher Mall’s vacancy is far above the average for the area, which Colliers International lists at 4.82% in the first quarter.

“On top of that, the borrower will bring in two big box tenants to absorb a large amount of the vacant space,” Ignite Funding said in its offering. “Given this property has more vacancy than the surrounding properties, it is the borrower’s intent to lease up the remaining space before he puts the property on the market for sale.”

Changing dynamic for Karcher Mall

The mall once hosted retailers like JC Penney, Bon Marché and Maurices. Over time, replacements opened liked Mor Furniture, Burlington and Ross Dress for Less. Burlington moved to Treasure Valley Crossing recently, leaving another large vacancy.

Prior owner Milan Capital spent $14 million to give the mall an update in 2008 – just as the economic downturn began to hit the Boise valley. Milan also discussed “de-malling” the building in 2015, but a firm proposal never materialized.

Currently, Cushman Wakefield lists 13 spaces for lease.

Cushman Wakefield listed the mall for sale at a price of $14.5 million – though it is not clear what price the mall ultimately sold for.

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