COLUMBUS - The city of Columbus is nearing completion of a deal to acquire Fair Oaks Mall. Our partners at WTHR-TV report the Fair Oaks Community Development Corp. Board will Friday close on the nearly $6 million purchase. The city plans to transform the property into a community recreational and sports tourism complex.

The city is partnering on the effort with Columbus Regional Hospital and the Heritage Fund Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. Plans to acquire the 36-acre property were first announced in September and could include transforming some of the property into turf fields for a variety of sports, as well as space for cooking classes, arts programming, and wellness programs for the hospital.

The mall currently only has 30 percent of its stores occupied and those stores would remain open for the remainder of their leases while officials finalize plans for the project. Officials told WTHR in November some tenants such as Durham Sports, may not need to leave the mall.