SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — There’s a new local ownership group in charge of the Western Mall.

In a news conference Friday, it was announced management of Sioux Falls’ oldest shopping mall will be taken over by John Barker and an ownership group called SF Western LLC, made up of Sioux Falls residents.

Bill Hinks, founder and chairman of Furniture Mart USA, said he’s enjoyed owning the Western Mall and he could stay as owner for another 15 years but he is happy local owners will be taking over. Hinks said the sale of the Western Mall was “in the ballpark of $45 million.”

On Dec. 3, KELOLAND News reported tenants in the Western Mall were being notified of a change in ownership.

Hinks bought the mall in the 1990s and has invested in updating the mall for retailers and local entrepreneurs. He said Best Buy came to the Western Mall shortly after he bought it and then celebrated when Scheels built its store at the Western Mall.

Barker said all the local businesses at the Western Mall and its location drew his attention.

According to the Western Mall Facebook page, it is home to more than 50 tenants ranging from a movie theater, restaurants, eyebrow threading, retail sales, massage and more. It opened in 1968 and started the shift from shopping in Downtown Sioux Falls. The Empire Mall followed the Western Mall and opened in 1975. 

In 2018, the Western Mall reported being full of a mix of tenants.