...in the media generally is all we get when we wait for some kind of follow-up from a two week old story in the IBJ concerning apparent financial problems with the downtown mall.
The gist of that story was that the anchor store at the mall is not in a favorable fiscal situation, and continuance of that position might end in the loss of the retailer as anchor.
The original story was based on some "talking points" - a copy of which we have acquired - which appeared to be for the use of the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) in justifying financial assistance for the store by the city. While attempting to vindicate this new economic development subsidy, the document gives no information as to the onset of the discussion.
We are not told who raised the question. Did the store request help? We are told that the loss of the anchor store will have a "devastating impact on the Mall." Has the city raised the question because the mall, which has been touted as the savior of downtown, may become instead a millstone which will drag the area into economic disaster?
We’re talking about an annual three year band-aid of $300,000 which would be worked out by changing from a standard lease to an "operating agreement," allowing time to work out a permanent solution. The store would be relieved of the equivalent of that amount in property taxes because, under that kind of agreement, there would be no "taxable estate." We admit to ignorance in this regard. In the years we worked in the area of property taxes, we never heard that phrase used.
The Circle Centre Mall (CCM) is owned by DMD. Once more, we are confused. At one point we are told, "...CCM and DMD will share the cost..." to keep the store open. At another point we see the agreement "...does not require any out-of-pocket expenditure by DMD..." We would tend to consider loss of revenue as pretty much equal to expenditure when looking at the bottom line.
In any case, we are talking about an additional economic prop for an "investment" which was to generate revenues, directly and indirectly, enough to procure city financial stability into the unknown future.
We may have missed it, but we have seen nothing further in the media about this proposal. Will we, as usual with downtown fiscal antics, be told what is going on after all the papers are signed, sealed and delivered?