Longview Mall tenants frustrated after paying for new fire alarm - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Longview Mall tenants frustrated after paying for new fire alarm equipment

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LONGVIEW (KYTX) - At least two Longview Mall retailers are closing up shop.

Sprint closed today, and the mall's Hallmark store, the Coach House, closes tomorrow after 35 years.

Neither retailer says why they're closing -- but several tenants say Longview mall management is forcing them to pay for fire protection equipment they say should be the mall's responsibility.

As some retailers tell CBS 19, many of them wonder if the expense is worth doing business at the mall.

Claudie Saddique says her convenience store at the Longview Mall entrance is about more than money.

"I feel for the people who had to pay that fee," she says. She's talking about fees to install fire alarm strobe lights and speakers. They light up and sound off when there's a fire alarm, and tenants at Longview Mall are paying to have them installed.

James Jones manages the arcade. He says it cost nearly $2,000 to have four alarms installed.

"It was not an itemized receipt. It was divided in half and broke down between labor and materials, and they didn't tell us how much they paid for the material.

Jones says management didn't care much to explain the expenses.

"They bought a scissor-lift with this Firetrol (company), and yet, hey didn't use a scissor lift in this building," Jones said.

Next door, AT&T store manager Greg Williamson says he thinks the fee is unfair, especially since management at Broadway Square Mall in Tyler paid for fire alarm equipment for its tenants about a year ago.

Both Longview and Broadway Square Malls are owned by Simon Properties.

"I know it's something that they didn't have to pay in Tyler, and we're being charged here in the mall for it," Williamson said. "I know that it's the holiday season and everybody is kind of tight, tough on money as it is, but no, I don't think that's fair."

Jones says the arcade and some other tenants are considering legal action.

"Clearly, something's going on. They don't tell us how much they paid, but we know how much we paid," Jones said.

Saddique says mall tenants have a great relationship with each other, but this decision threatens that.

"From the small businesses to the big businesses to the mom-and-pop businesses, and everybody talks," Saddique said.

Longview Mall management says its director will return from vacation Monday. That's the earliest we should expect a statement from the mall. We will continue to follow this development.
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