By BRAD KELLAR
Developers say the renovation of Greenville’s only shopping mall is still in the works.
Exactly when most of the work on the transformation of Crossroads Mall will actually begin is yet to be determined.
Under an announcement issued in March, the City of Greenville wil partner with the owners of the shopping center at 6834 Wesley Street on a multi-million dollar redevelopment of the property.
Under the agreement, the city receives a portion of the increased sales taxes generated by the redevelopment of the mall, splitting the increase with the mall’s owners.
But aside from some minor demolition work conducted in August, there has been no sign of the project actually getting underway.
City of Greenville Public Information Officer Lori Philyaw said City Manager Steve Alexander has been in contact with officials from Crossroads Greenville Properties about the project, which is still planned.
“They didn’t want to be involved with something that would impact the tenants during the Christmas shopping season,” Philyaw said, adding that an update on the renovation effort is expected early this year.
Under the terms of the agreement with the City of Greenville, Crossroads Greenville Properties plans to invest approximately $11 million to transform the current traditional enclosed retail mall into a “Big Box” configuration, with larger retailers having access directly to the parking area.
Under the proposed plan, mall anchors Staples, Belk and JC Penney will remain at their current locations, while Bealls and Hibbett Sports will be relocated into newly created spaces, with the remainder of the leasable area occupied by retailers new to the project.
Improvements being planned include a new facade, relocation of leasable space to the front of the complex as well as improvements to the parking area and other aesthetic enhancements.
For its part, the City of Greenville will pay the developer grant payments calculated on anticipated sales tax increases.
The announcement said Crossroads Mall currently generates $23 million in annual taxable sales based on a five-year average. After the improvements are made, the project is estimated to generate $47 million in annual taxable sales. Under the agreement, the City will continue to collect 100 percent of the sales tax payments on the $23 million base which equates to an annual sales tax revenue of $316,250. The term of the agreement is 15 years and any additional sales tax generated from the project will be split equally between the City and the developer.
The agreement required the developer to begin construction on the project within six months and make an investment of $10 million within the first 18 months.
The mall opened in 1983.