MOBILE, Ala (WKRG)
More than two years after it signed an incentives deal with the owners of the Shoppes at Bel Air, the City of Mobile has not paid a penny, since the developer has not met prescribed criteria.
“We’ve not paid them anything since they have yet to achieve the benchmarks established in the agreement,” said city spokesperson George Talbot.
In June 2016, the City Council controversially approved giving New York-based Rouse Properties up to $500,000 a year for 15 years – a maximum of $7.5 million. One of the provisions was that the mall owner attract another anchor tenant to fill the old Belk location. That parcel remains vacant.
Sears closed its Bel Air location in September 2015 and Belk moved into the 237,000 square foot location a year later. The old Belk location was vacated and remains empty.
Rouse bought the mall for $135 million in 2014 and spent an estimated $25 million renovating it. The developer hoped to recoup some of that cost through its incentive plan with the city.
The deal called for Rouse to get rebates after sales hit 110-percent of what they were at the mall in 2015. In addition to filling the old Belk site, Rouse was also required to attract new stores and restaurants unique to the city and not relocated from other locations around Mobile.