ANDERSON — Almost 1,200 jobs making small modular homes.
About $45 million in annual payroll, and a project investment of $12.5 million.
Dormitory housing for single workers, and family units for others.
A food court and a convenience store. A banquet hall and expo center.
A revitalized movie theater. A new restaurant tenant.
Those are the plans for Mounds Mall, according to Carl Baumann of Baumann RE LLC, the company that has signed a $3 million deal to purchase the mall property — buildings, parking lot and all — from the Cook family, which shut the mall down a year ago.
Jonathan Cook, attorney for the Cook family, confirmed Friday that a $3 million offer to purchase the mall property has been accepted. Baumann said financing terms and sources for the purchase and improvements are being negotiated.
The Cook family is not involved, Jonathan Cook said, in arranging financing for the purchase of the mall, which originally opened in 1968.
“This would be a great re-purpose of the property,” he added.
Because the Cook family owes $701,000 in taxes on the property, the mall is listed for the April 8 commissioner’s certificate sale at a cost of just $100. But now that Baumann is purchasing the mall, Jonathan Cook said Friday that he plans to ask the Madison County commissioners to remove the property from the sale.
Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. said Friday that he has scheduled a meeting with Baumann next week.
“I want to see if they have a serious business plan and to learn more about the details in terms of financing,” the mayor said.
Baumann intends to manufacture small modular homes in the former Sears store. The sale includes the Mounds Mall 10 Theater and all the property.
Baumann's plans include an initial investment of $12.5 million, the hiring of 1,160 people and an annual payroll of $45 million. He said the company has not requested any incentives for the project from the city of Anderson.
The company plans to have a new roof installed on the mall buildings this summer.
Baumann said the long-term plans include converting the Carson’s home store into a food/convenience store and the Carson’s store into a exposition and banquet hall.
He has plans to demolish the former GC Cinemas building and construct new multi-housing family units.
The company plans to rename the facility the Mounds Fun Mall and have the majority of renovations completed by the end of the year.
Baumann said he plans to manufacture "Granny Flats" of 300 to 800 square feet to sell at a price of $40,000 to $50,000. He said the modular homes would be placed on permanent foundations and would have to meet state building codes.
He said the company has hired an engineering firm to oversee the training of employees and the manufacturing operation.
Baumann said manufacturing could start within the next 90 days.
“This is a proposal I wrote 20 years ago to help unemployed and homeless veterans,” he said. “I want to produce affordable housing.”