YAKIMA, Wash. — Could the Valley Mall in Union Gap be getting some new tenants soon?

I don’t know the answer yet, but what I do know is that the mall does have several vacancies to fill.

Winnie’s Hallmark, better known to customers as the Hallmark Gold Crown store, will close at the end of the month when its lease expires.

Wenatchee-based owner Paul Fowler has run the store for 15 years and there has been a Hallmark store in the mall since the 1970s.

Fowler said the mall offered him a space in the nearby Valley Mall Plaza, but says it is too small for the store’s needs.

“I’m disappointed in being pushed out of the mall,” Fowler said. “It came as a big shock to us.”

Fowler said he is trying to find another location in the Yakima area.

“I don’t want to leave the Yakima market,” said Fowler, who also owns Hallmark stores in Wenatchee and Moscow, Idaho. “I like the market; I like the customer base. They’re very loyal.”

(That’s quite true, I got wind of this after several readers called me asking about it.)

In the meanwhile, Valley Mall manager Allie Stewart is staying quiet for now regarding possible new tenants.

“We have a lot of changes in progress, (but) I don’t have anything to announce,” she said.

Other vacancies ones in the upstairs food court area, which now only houses a Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks & Subs and a Christian bookstore and several at the neighboring Valley Mall Plaza, including the former Eddie Bauer Outlet and the former Borders store, though the later is expected to a Michaels.