SouthPark and NorthPark malls are for sale, again.
According to Reuters.com and other news sources, mall owner Macerich Co. is trying to sell 17 of its Class B malls, ranked as such because they have lower average sales than other properties.
In January 2012, Macerich assumed full ownership of the Moline and Davenport malls. It had owned both in partnership with Simon Property Group, and both were put up for sale for at least a year in 2006.
The SouthPark Mall Task Force -- a group of city staffers, Quad Cities Chamber representatives and community members -- have worked since 2011 with mall owners to encourage redevelopment of SouthPark. In the past five years, the property assessment has dropped by $8.4 million and city sales tax revenue has also fallen.
City staffers said two weeks ago they expected Macerich to present Moline with redevelopment plans in June.
Moline Mayor Don Welvaert said he was unaware the mall was for sale.
Kimberly Hastings, with Macerich corporate communications, did not respond to a request for information.
The Moline City Council was expected to vote on the creation of a Tax Increment Finance district for SouthPark Mall in late April to assist with its redevelopment.
When a TIF is created, it freezes the property assessment. Redevelopment or new development can increase the assessment. Any new tax increment collected is captured by the city and can be given to the developer to offset costs.
Mayor Welvaert said the council may need to wait on the TIF district vote to see how serious Macerich is about selling the property, or if it is sold, to see if the new owner is willing to redevelop the mall.
In December, several national news sources reported Eastdil Secured was marketing 14 of the 17 malls for Macerich. Those malls included 11.1 million square feet of leasable space and are wholly owned by Macerich.
According to an article by the Co-Star Group, the 17 malls are worth more than $1 billion. Conversations with prospective buyers began in late November.
Co-Star reported in early February, Macerich executives said itinitially did not intend to sell all of the assets, but "received significant interest from prospective buyers, and now plans to sell assets worth between $500 million and $1 billion...."
The article stated Art Coppola, chairman and CEO of Macerich, saidhalf a dozen groups bid on the 14 assets with some groups bidding on more than one.
"We are at that point to where we are picking buyers on the 14 (assets). The Seattle group is about a month behind and we'll see," Mr. Coppola said. "I think that certainly by three months from now we will have great clarity on all of those events."
Moline planning and development director Ray Forsythe, city administrator Lew Steinbrecher, and Quad Cities Chamber vice president Paul Rumler did not return calls and/or email requests for comment.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.