LU Not Buying River Ridge Mall - - ABC13

LU Not Buying River Ridge Mall


Reporter: Mark Kelly l Photojournalist: Sally Delta

Lynchburg, VA - Liberty University wants to settle a rumor. For weeks, folks in Lynchburg have been hearing LU plans to buy River Ridge Mall, and they plan to shut down Victoria's Secret.

The university says both are not true.

The administration thinks the rumor may have started because the university is expanding so quickly. From Candlers Station to the Sports Racket to the Plaza. But, buying River Ridge Mall is not in their plans.

"No, it's not at all true that we are buying the mall," said Neal Askew, Sr. VP of Operations at Liberty University.

That goes for Victoria's Secret inside River Ridge Mall, too. Liberty's not taking over either.

"I've always said when you are on the top of the flag pole, you're exposed to everybody and people to take their shots," said Askew.

And spread rumors. Liberty's certainly expanding. On Candlers Mountain Road, they bought the Candlers Station shopping mall, which is very close to River Ridge.

"I'd say there's at least one good rumor every year," said LU Senior Jacob Coneby.

Coneby and Alyssa Bockman are both LU seniors. In four years, they've watched the school grow and the yarn of rumors grow even more.

"I think people just come up with crazy ideas because Liberty is big in to buying everything and expanding as much as they can," said Bockman.

"I think it's just one big rumor because I don't think Liberty has a vendetta against Victoria's Secret or the mall in general," said Coneby.

Alyssa Bradley is transferring to Liberty from Charlotte, North Carolina. Her sister, an LU student, just told her the mall rumor. Bradley believes there's a little truth to it.

"Well, I mean, if it's rumors getting out, I mean people obviously know about it, then something's got to be happening," said Bradley.

Neal Askew wants the record straight -- there's no mall buy-out. But, Liberty is open to one idea.

"I will tell you this, it's a great location and if somebody out there would be interested in buying and purchasing River Ridge Mall and donating it to us, I bet we could probably find a use for it," said Askew.

So, case closed on Liberty University buying the mall and shutting down Victoria Secret.

Forever 21, another store, just closed in the mall; LU says they weren't a part of that either.

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