Raleigh Springs Mall Owners Seek to Work with the City to Revitalize Raleigh - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Raleigh Springs Mall Owners Seek to Work with the City to Revitalize Raleigh

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SOURCE Raleigh Springs Mall, LLC

MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier this month, on April 11, 2014, Mayor A C Wharton, Housing and Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb, and architect Tom Marshall presented a redevelopment plan for Raleigh Springs Mall to the Raleigh community. In order to move forward with the $66 million dollar plan, the City needs to acquire the privately owned land on which the Mall sits. The current owners, Raleigh Springs Mall, LLC, are disappointed that the City has been making continual press releases over the last twelve months regarding the Mall, but have not had any meaningful discussions with the current owners. These City press releases have had a detrimental effect on the Mall, creating uncertainty for both existing and new tenants.

The City was keen to have the mall change ownership and led the new owners to believe that the City would work closely with them to improve the area. The current owners hope to work cooperatively with the City to revive the Mall and the Raleigh community.

The current owners, who purchased the Mall in 2013, have already begun the renovation process. In fact, the owners are in the process of spending $1.5 million renovating the roof in a joint venture with the owners of the old Goldsmith's and Dillard's stores. This is in addition to properly completing the JC Penney demolition, and making many, many other interior upgrades.

"Raleigh Springs Mall, LLC shares the City's desire to reinvigorate Raleigh Springs Mall and the surrounding area," said Michael Aschenbrener, attorney for Raleigh Springs Mall, LLC. "The company purchased the Mall because they are committed to restoring this community and boosting the local economy."

Since acquiring the Mall last year, Raleigh Springs Mall, LLC has added new tenants to the mall, and they are currently in the process of attracting additional tenants. The owners are hopeful that, while progress cannot be made overnight, Raleigh Springs Mall can remain part of the City's proposed redevelopment plan.

"Until recently, we were under the impression that we were in productive talks with city officials. We hope to continue those conversations," said Aschenbrener.

Of the $66 million needed for the City's plan, at least $30 million of it must come from private developers. To date, Memphis officials have not identified any private developers, apart from Raleigh Springs Mall, LLC, willing to invest in the proposed redevelopment plan.

"The Mall already has owners who have invested millions of dollars within their first year of owning it. We believe the best way forward is for the City to collaborate with the Mall owners, rather than on its own, especially where no other private developers have stepped forward. We hope the City is willing to work with us, rather than against us, in order to revitalize Raleigh Springs Mall to the benefit of everyone in Raleigh," Aschenbrener said.

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