Tuesday, December 27, 2011

City wants $300,000 from Factory Merchants Outlets

source News-Leader.com

Branson aldermen will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday to reconsider taking ownership of buildings at Factory Merchants Branson, often called "the red-roof" mall.

Aldermen initially met Monday, but postponed a decision because they said they needed more information about future costs to the city, such as maintenance and insurance.

Under terms of a substitute bill, Simon Property Group, owner of the mall, would pay the city $300,000 at closing, which is scheduled to occur no later than Jan. 5. Additional language was added to clarify tenant leases. The city estimates its annual property and liability insurance rates will increase by $5,000 to $7,000 a year.

Simon Property asked the city, which already owns the land, to take ownership of the mall so Simon can concentrate its resources on its other Branson property, The Shoppes at Branson Meadows mall.

The contract includes a six-month management agreement with Simon to help existing tenants find new locations. There are 34 tenants, including kiosks, according to city Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson.

The meeting will be held in the council chambers at City Hall. If aldermen approve the contract, it will still need a second vote to take effect. That vote would likely occur at 6 p.m. Dec. 29, also in the City Council chambers.

Simon Property leases the land -- once part of a city airport -- from the city for about $129,000 a year. The lease was set to expire in 2021.

City officials have not determined what they would do with the property once all the tenants are out. However, discussions have ranged from more retail development to ball fields.

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