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Redeveloping Landmark Mall

Excerpt from Justin's March Newsletter

Fifteen years ago, the ownership of the properties at Landmark Mall received their tax assessments from the City. The actual mall site was assessed at $76.4 million. The Sears store was assessed at $19.7 million. The Macy's store site was assessed at $17 million.

At the City's tax rate in 2000, these three sites generated $1.25 million in real estate tax alone.

Today, those three properties are assessed at $24 million, $13.4 million and $10.6 million, respectively. They generate about $500,000 in real estate tax today.

To make the situation even more severe, real estate tax is only a portion of the picture. The reduction in revenues for sales tax, dining tax, and other business taxes has also been dramatic at this site.

There is no clearer demonstration of the City's financial challenges than the predicament that currently faces Landmark Mall.

In 2009, the City Council approved the Landmark/Van Dorn Smalll Area Plan. This plan laid out a comprehensive vision for the redevelopment of the entire corridor, including the properties on the existing Mall site.

The bankruptcy of one of the owners, unfavorable market conditions, and the complexity of the relationship between the three owners on the site resulted in little action for several years.

After taking over ownership of the mall site, The Howard Hughes Corporation received approval by the Planning Commission and City Council in June of 2013 for a redevelopment of that site. A slower than expected leasing market has slowed the Howard Hughes intentions to redevelop.

A few weeks ago, Howard Hughes Corporation was back at City Hall to apply for very minor amendments to the approval that was issued in 2013. These changes will now be considered by the Planning Commission and City Council in April.

The request for amendment is a positive sign that the landowner still has the intention to proceed with redevelopment in the near term.

While this initial approval is a modest step towards implementing the full vision of the Landmark/Van Dorn Plan, it does help encourage other redevelopment activities in the corridor.

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