. . . Simon Senior Executive Vice President David Contis would not quantify the cost other than to say it is in the millions of dollars. However, parties briefed on the plan say the improvements would run roughly $20 million, with the city potentially picking up part of the tab. City officials did not respond to repeated requests for comment by IBJ deadline.
The mall is owned by about 20 local companies that pumped $75 million into the $320 million project in the early 1990s, when a recession and other obstacles threatened to derail former Mayor Bill Hudnut’s longtime dream of creating a bustling enclosed downtown shopping center.
Retail observers say the mall needs a burst of investment to stave off further decline. It suffered a big blow when Nordstrom closed its Circle Centre location in 2011, and over the years it has lost other higher-end retailers, including Coach and Nine West. Last year, the city struck a deal with the sole remaining department store tenant, Carson’s, to cut its rent $300,000 annually through January 2018 to keep it from leaving . . .
Sherry Seiwert, president of the not-for-profit Downtown Indy, said in an email that the proposed investment would help boost the mall’s appeal to downtown’s rapidly growing residential population.
“We are so pleased by the proposed improvements and upgrades to Circle Centre by Simon, especially the prospect of adding a significant mall entrance off of Georgia Street,” she said. “Maintaining and increasing retail density in our downtown remains a priority for us, so we are encouraged by Simon’s plans for continued investment.” . . .What happened to the Greg Andrews who used to do real investigative reporting? It's not hard to figure how where the Indianapolis Star will come down on yet another public subsidy for the Simons. The newspaper is now a tenant in the mall in addition to being one of the mall's original investors. Isn't it about time a copy of their lease was made available to the public so we can determine whether it was negotiated at arm's length? Mayor Ballard has been doing somersaults for the Simons the past 8 years and our next likely mayor, Joe Hogsett, is that close to the Simons so we can expect more unabated grifting by the greedy billionaires and their public stooges for the foreseeable future.