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 Wednesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2014. There are 252 days left in the year.
1864 — 150 years ago: Some persons are negotiating for 80 feet of ground on Illinois Street with a view of erecting four stores thereon. It would serve a better purpose if the money was invested in neat tenement houses. 1889 — 125 years ago: The Central station, car house and stables of the Moline-Rock Island Horse Railway line of the Holmes syndicate, together with 15 cars and 42 head of horses, were destroyed by fire. The loss was at $15,000. 1914 — 100 years ago: Vera Cruz, Mexico, after a day and night of resistance to American forces, gradually ceased opposition. The American forces took complete control of the city. 1939 — 75 years ago: Dr. R. Bruce Collins was reelected for a second term as president of the Lower Rock Island County Tuberculosis Association. 1964 — 50 years ago: Work is scheduled to begin this summer on construction of a new men's residence complex and an addition to the dining facilities at Westerlin Hall at Augustana College. 1989 — 25 years ago: Special Olympics competitors were triple winners at Rock Island High School Saturday. The participants vanquished the rain that fell during the competition, and some won their events; but most important, they triumphed over their own disabilities.