Biggest Mall in Mississippi Escapes from Foreclosure
The biggest shopping mall in Mississippi, Jackson Metrocenter Mall, almost got foreclosed. Fortunately, the mallís owner managed to settle a mortgage loan it needed to pay this week. A possible foreclosure of the mall was avoided.
The company refused to disclose how much it actually owed its creditors. It just disclosed that the loan was paid and foreclosure was avoided. Watkins Development, which owns several commercial properties near the mall, said it is ready to buy the Jackson Metrocenter mall if it was foreclosed. However, company spokespeople could not be reached for comments after the abandoned foreclosure of the mall. It is unclear whether Watkins Development still holds willingness to buy the mall or parts of it.
Community and city leaders, particularly the Metrocenter Area Coalition, assert that the troubled mall still needs fresh and effective new ideas to survive. Advocates call for innovations and new strategies for a revival of the huge shopping mall.
The 1.1 million-square-foot shopping complex opened in 1978. It has since anchored numerous stores and housed numerous small shops. The mall has also facilitated the rise of retail in the area and in surrounding communities. Jackson Metrocenter Mall remains as the biggest shopping mall in the state. It is considered historic by numerous advocates in the area.
Several experts said revival of the Metrocenter mall would require transformation not just of the mall, but also of the entire south Jackson. City officials are now finalizing development master plans that would address the need to improve the community. Such activities would include landscaping, improvisation of transport modes, and setting of future land utilization guidelines. The concrete plans are expected to be unveiled in a month.
Observers note that open-air shopping center concepts like those adopted in Ranking and Madison counties have been drawing even loyal shoppers away from the landmark Jackson mall. The troubled mall has been incurring high operational costs due to heating and cooling requirements. However, the mall maintains its status as a major regional shopping destination.
Analysts warn that if the mallís operational costs would not be curtailed and if shoppers would continue veering away, the foreclosure scenario would continue to haunt Jackson Metrocenter.
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