Mineral Springs Mall
ALTON — Reportedly one of the most haunted locations in the Riverbend, the Mineral Springs Mall, now has a new entity roaming its hallways.
Dan Hornsey of Dan’s Upholstery in Alton has owned the crumbling building at 301 E. Broadway for 50 days and in that time, he has acquired three new tenants, begun renovations on five apartments and hauled out load after load of debris. The building was purchased as an auction sale for $95,000, with additional fees of approximately $15,000.
Hornsey said when he acquired the property, it was losing $150 to $175 per day.
“I got the taxes knocked down, the insurance knocked down, and renegotiated the leases with the current tenants, and now things are looking good,” he said.
Whotts Not and Aunt Sha’s Cottage Furniture resale shops and the In-Zone Barber Shop, along with the Mineral Springs Haunted Tours and the Historic Museum of Torture Devices, will be staying open for business in the mall. Joining them will be new tenants J and K Trash to Treasures, It’s Raining Zen (a New Age shop relocating from the Alton Exchange Antique Mall) and a photography studio.
Hornsey said on the upper levels, two apartments are ready for rent, with three more still under renovation.
“I thought about renting some of those out by the week or the month for people who may be coming through while using their boats,” Hornsey said. “However it pans out, I am looking at strictly rental.”
The Crystal Room is already being rented out for events, and Hornsey said his phone has been “ringing off the hook” to use the banquet area for upcoming music events and more.
“This just goes to show you there is a definite demand for that space,” Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany said.
Mineral Springs Mall has gone through a number of landlords, most recently with new owners in 2010 and as a donated property to Mercy Real Estate last year. In its heyday, the more than 100-year-old structure opened in 1914 as a luxury hotel with a “mineral spring” pool rumored to be able to heal afflictions.
In the years since, it has transitioned to a mall, with most of the businesses leaving as the building began to decay and feel the effects of years of neglect.
“I am looking forward to seeing what can be done with this place,” Hornsey said. “(Mineral Springs Haunted Tours owner) Janet (Kolar) said there is blood pumping in this place again, and that is a good way to put it.”
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