Originally Posted Online: March 19, 2013, 8:13 pm
Last Updated: March 19, 2013, 8:13 pm
Task force, Macerich continue talks on SouthPark
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By Dawn Neuses firstname.lastname@example.org
Members of the SouthPark Mall Task Force said discussions with Macerich Co. about revitalizing the mall property continue, even though the mall is one of 17 up for sale.
The task force has worked the past two years with the current and past mall owners to encourage revitalization of the property. Macerich co-owned the mall with Simon Property Group until last year, which Macerich became the sole owner.
Paul Rumler, a task force member and Quad Cities Chamber vice president, said Tuesday that he talked to Macerich earlier in the day and the company remains committed to making improvements.
"We are moving ahead and maintaining the same timeline for revitalizing the property," he said.
"We are working with a very aggressive ownership team," he said of Macerich, adding that while the task force does not have details of a revitalization plan yet, it and the company are working on one together.
Moline city administrator Lew Steinbrecher said the city has had an extremely positive relationship with Macerich since it took over mall ownership and management.
"There have been a number of good-faith conversations and the partnership we are formulating includes the creation of a Tax Increment Finance district by the city and reinvestment in the property by Macerich," he said.
The mall is an important commercial property and sales tax generator for the city, Mr. Steinbrecher said. All indicators show SouthPark is an important property to Macerich, too, he added.
The city will move forward with its plans, whether the mall is on the market or not, Mr. Steinbrecher said.
Mr. Rumler said when SouthPark and NorthPark were listed for sale in 2006, the ownership group made no improvements while the properties were on the market.However, today Macerich continues to make interior and exterior improvements in the properties and to discuss the future of SouthPark, he said.
Mr. Rumler was unawareSouthPark and NorthPark were for sale since late last year, but said it was not a complete shock. In the world of real estate, everything is for sale, he said, adding that the company is only trying to maximize its assets.