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, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2013. There are 26 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A new passenger car has been placed on the Coal Valley railroad, and R.R. Cable is running the trains at present. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. G.W. Gue preached a convincing sermon on the need of a new First Methodist Church in Rock Island 1913 -- 100 years ago: Dr. W.S. Marquis preached his farewell sermon at Broadway Presbyterian Church to the combined congregations from First Methodist, First Baptist, United Presbyterian and South Park Presbyterian churches. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's mayor is seeking to enforce the rules governing PWA projects in the city which state that local men are to be hired for the work. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Argus Santa Claus requests that the names of needy Rock Island boys and girls through 12 years of age be registered by parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11or Dec. 14. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Alcoa and its employee union have reached tentative agreement on a 43-month labor contract covering about 7,500 workers at six plants, including 1,900 employees at Alcoa's Davenport Works, company and union officials said today.