Kinston’s Vernon Park Mall up for sale, community members excited about future of once-bustling location

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — Veron Park Mall is up for sale and while bidding began for the once-thriving location, members of the community have high hopes and lots of ideas for what could be done with the space.

“This mall was bustling, it was full of activity,” said Melvin Cameron from Kinston. “People coming from all over North Carolina just to visit this mall.”

“I remember coming here when everything was open, and I enjoyed coming here,” said Hilton Lanier from Chinquapin.

A once vibrant mall in Kinston is now a ghost town. But that could be changing. It is up for sale with bidding starting Monday at noon. The starting bid was $750,000.

“I feel like it’s disappointing the way it went down because it was full of life when I was growing up,” Cameron said. “It would be good to get it back that way.”

City leaders said the building has endless possibilities, revenue, and recreation for the community.

“The city and the community are just looking for something that’s functional something that adds value to our citizens to our tax base,” said Kinston City Manager Tony Sears. “Whether you want to do some mixed-used retail or sports venue. It is a large structure within our general downtown kind of area, and it was something that was once vibrant. we’d love to see something return to that space.”

The mall has more than 600,000 square feet of retail space. It’s currently listed on the real estate website Crexi.com. It’s described as a space ready for refurbishing or repositioning in a market hungry for retail.

“I like to come shop for my own things, I don’t like to shop online,” Pauline Lanier of Chinquapin said. “I like to pick out my own clothes try them on.

“I hope someone buys it and reopens it. We need it in this community.”

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