By Ron VandenBoom
Tiffany Korb became the new property manager at the Havre Holiday Village Shopping Center on Oct. 1, announced center officials.
The move is the latest in a long series of hurdles the new owners of the Holiday Village, Ocwen Financial Corporation, and the new property management firm, Westfield Properties Inc., have jumped as they work to breathe new life into the west Havre mall.
Korb replaces John Caven, the court appointed receiver, who ran the Holiday Village for the six years prior to the acquisition of the property by Ocwen and the settlement of the lawsuit surrounding the shopping complex in July.
Korb will assume all local responsibility for running and maintaining the mall. She will also continue her marketing and promotions responsibilities.
We do expect to have more promotions, more involvement in our promotions, she said.
She added that she hopes to be able to accomplish a pet project of replacing the 20-year-old Christmas decorations and adding a charity bazaar and live entertainment to the malls Christmas activities.
In addition to her work in promotions and maintenance, Korb will also serve as the liaison between the merchants at the mall and Westfield Properties, Inc. Her duties will not include writing or negotiating leases. That will be the responsibility of Kraig Erickson, vice president of Leasing/Management for Westfield Properties, Inc.
I will be the on site person to show locations the local contact, Korb said. But I hope to facilitate as much as I can in that area.
Korb said her goal is to help make the Holiday Village what it used to be, a key player in our community.
There are currently 24 businesses open in the mall. Korb said the idea that people think of the shopping complex as half empty is too negative.
People sometimes think of us as half empty instead of half full, she said. I would like to change that.
She said Erickson and Westfield Properties Inc. are working hard to find tenants that want long-term leases that will make the mall strong.
Theyre not out to just fill it up with just anybody they can, she said.
Erickson, in a telephone interview, confirmed that Ocwen and Westfield are committed to bringing new tenants to the Village, but explained that he was not at liberty to release the names of any businesses they might be negotiating with.
He also said Westfield and Ocwen were currently involved in budget negotiations that will include substantial sums for capital improvements.
Ocwen has already approved $400,000 for repairs to the roof of the Holiday Village a project that began this summer and is almost complete.
We believe in Havre and want to make it a viable project, Erickson said, referring to the shopping center.
Other projects will include painting the building and up-grades, landscaping, and repairs to the parking lot.
The parking lot is currently expected to be the last of the more pressing projects, but according to Erickson, timing of the project is also dependent on the Highway 2 road construction that will move the main entrance to the Holiday Village farther west to 19th Avenue.
All these things are in our future now, Korb said, For six years weve existed and now weve got hope. And theyre working they are contacting people, and not just in Havre, but in the regional and national market.
At least now we have somebody on our side willing to help fight the battle with us. Theres progress being made, it just takes time.