A plan for updating SouthPark Mall could be in place by the end of the year, Moline city administrator Lew Steinbrecher said Friday.
He was part of the SouthPark Mall Task Force that toured the renovatedSouthridge Mall in Des Moines on Thursday. Southridge, like SouthPark, is owned by Macerich Co.
The task force, which includes city and Quad Cities Chamber members, has been discussing possible improvements or renovations at SouthPark with the mall owners for more than a year.
Recently, Macerich re-created its Des Moines mall into a mixed-use development that includes retail, education and residential.
Mr. Steinbrecher said task force members met with a Macerich official Thursday who has been designated by the company to undertake the revival and renovation of SouthPark.
At this point, nothing is designed or planned for SouthPark, but the task force hopes a plan will be in place by the end of the year, he said.
Mr. Steinbrecher said the tour gave task force members a sense of the work done at Southridge, how a mall can be renovated, and a sense of the care Macerich took with its anchor tenants "which will obviously be important for SouthPark."
The task force also discussed how direct access on and off John Deere Road would help SouthPark.
"There are no concepts or schematics developed yet, but is obviously important to Macerich so it will be important to the city," Mr. Steinbrecher said.
"It was a good meeting," he said. "We are pleased Macerich has SouthPark, not only on its radar but plan to give it attention in the upcoming year. Hopefully, things will continue to progress and we will know what direction Macerich is headed in later this year."
Today is Friday, Aug. 22, the 234th day of 2014. There are 131 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: The ferry boat, Rock Island, having been put in good order at the boat yard is now making her regular trips, much to the gratification of those who have to cross the river. 1889 -- 125 years ago: W.J. Gamble, for many years superintendent of the Moline & Rock Island railway, leased the Fourth Avenue Hotel and renovated and refurnished it throughout. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Pending the building of new public schools or additions to the present ones to provide adequate room for all the children, the board of education decided that pupils younger than 6 years old would not be accepted in Rock Island schools. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The fifth annual New Windsor Fair and Horse show, which has been delayed for two days because of unfavorable weather, got off to a new start last night. The parade was held this morning. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island County Fair and Rodeo will celebrate its silver anniversary this year. The fair opens Tuesday and will run through Saturday and offers entertainment and activity for young and old. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Earl Hanson School, Rock Island, joins the Program to Assist Latch Key Student, which aids working parents. PALS is a before and after school program for grades 1-6 in certain Rock Island public and private schools.