The Marketplace Shopping Center along South 24th Street in Council Bluffs by late September should be under new ownership that plans on pursuing retail stores new to the area, officials said Monday.
“We want to pursue stores not already here,” said Wes Grammer, vice president of development for Red Legacy. “Our goal is to bring new names to the market.”
The Kansas City, Mo.-based company received approval by the Council Bluffs City Council on Monday evening on tax breaks to help fund the expansion of the center to 400,000 square feet from its current 250,000 square feet.
The plan calls for Red Legacy to purchase the center from Magnum Companies of Omaha, which developed the center in 2007. Since then, economic conditions stalled the leasing process, according to Don Gross, director of the Community Development Department.
“We do see a lot of opportunity,” Grammer said. “We've got great ideas for the future.”
Red Legacy has experience in this kind of work having developed, among some 50 projects, the Shadow Lake and Village Pointe centers in Omaha, he said.
Shopko and J.C. Penney are the two anchor stores at the Marketplace. The sale would not involve the Penney store, which the national retailer owns. Stand-alone shops along 24th Street also would not be part of the sale, Gross said.
New stores Red Legacy might pursue would be women's apparel, athletic shoes/apparel, a bookstore, a craft store, a children's apparel shop, even a sit-down restaurant, Grammer said.
The council's action Monday evening involved renegotiating the development agreement originally approved between the City and Magnum. This includes extending tax increment financing privileges from 2021, the time given to Magnum to help pay for the development, to 2029 for Red Legacy, though company officials indicated it could be paid off sooner. Tax increment financing, or TIF, is essentially a tax rebate to the developer over a period of years to help pay the costs of improvements.
“This gives the city more shopping opportunities,” councilwoman Lynne Branigan said of the project.