California ‘Ghost Mall’ to be redeveloped by casino next door

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California ‘Ghost Mall’ to be redeveloped by casino next door

By Al Urbanski - 12/14/2020
The Wilton Rancheria Casino will open in Elk Grove, south of Sacramento, next year.

A mall in Elk Grove, Calif., whose completion was stalled by the 2008 recession and then left vacant again when new owner Howard Hughes Corp. couldn’t make a go of it is getting a third roll of the dice.

The Elk Grove Mall in this town south of Sacramento has been purchased by Boyd Gaming, a Las Vegas-based company affiliated with the Wilton Rancheria Casino set to open on a site next to the mall in 2021. 

HHC had purchased the property in a bankruptcy auction and planned to transform it into a premium retail and entertainment destination with a 14-screen multiplex cinema. Hughes abandoned the project when it was unable to attract the tenants it wanted to the 107-acre property.

“The purchase by Boyd Gaming really represents a fresh start for the property. They are well-capitalized and are committed to working with the city,” Elk Grove economic development director Darrell Doan told Fox 40 News in Sacramento.

The casino is on Elk Grove land that is in a federal trust and is outside the control of the city, which has land-use authority over the mall site.  It’s not out of the realm of possibility for Boyd to use the mall site to expand the casino, though city officials said they prefer the site be used for retail and entertainment.