To say that shoppers have not been enthusiastic about this development would be an understatement.
Some have asked how the City of Joplin could pave the way for something like this to happen by allowing the mall to pass off its development costs to its customers instead of using its own money or borrowing money, the kind of decisions that other business owners have to make every day.
Was Northpark Mall going to shut down if CBL did not get the go-ahead for the sales tax increase?
In fact, the Joplin City Council has put the Chattanooga, Tennessee based CBL in an envious position. It can either pass along its investment and development costs as it goes along instead of recouping them after the improvements have been made as most businesses have to do, or and this poses even more interesting ethical questions about the council's decision- Did giving CBL a mechanism to pay for developments over the next two decades make it easier for the company to sell Northpark Mall?
In an April news release, CBL announced it would be selling a quarter of its malls, though it did not specify which ones would be included. Its other malls would be upgraded, the news release said, with "value-added redevelopment and ongoing retenanting."
Since that time, three malls have been sold. And while it may be happening in other places, I can find no record of anyone else considering following the path of the Joplin City Council and putting the redevelopment of a private business property on the backs of city residents.
What was the upside of this for the city of Joplin?
Did CBL take a look at the ongoing Wallace-Bajjali situation and see the word "suckers" stamped on the City Council members" faces?
It sure looks like it.