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Opinion: Foreclose on Southbridge Mall now for better future options


This news story was published on April 22, 2018.
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The saga of the Mall refuses to die. There needs to be a foreclosure instigated that will clear the path for reprocessing the property. Once that is been accomplished it will clear the way for some serious and more to the point, more doable propositions.

As a structure there is little wrong with it, and what might exist could be corrected without a $38,000,000.00 price tag.

This is what needs to be done: Conduct a physical examination on the entire property… then set about correcting everything that is in arrears. Put together a net operating cost per square foot. Go over past utility bills, snow removal, ground maintenance… taxes if applicable under city ownership. Next divide the “break even” cost per square foot into the total footage… then advertise the space for one dollar per foot over the net operating cost. If the numbers I have been hearing are correct, $5.00 is the break even cost so to lease space it should be $6.00 per foot. No percentages on sales. Original leasing cost offered to Chuck Shill to get him to move his Maid-Rite restaurant into the mall was $21.00 per foot plus 10% of the gross.

$6.00, or whatever one dollar over cost with no percentage on gross sales will fill the space. At that price the space becomes highly affordable and attractive. As an example; 500 square foot would be $250.00 a month. There would be no utility cost because those charges were figured into the net operating cost along with snow and ground charges. The mall would fill up… no question.

Any remodeling cost would need to be paid by the lease holder after a approval by a building committee.

No hotel and no sheet of ice, neither will cash flow.

Peter Children
Mason City


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22 Responses to Opinion: Foreclose on Southbridge Mall now for better future options

  1. Avatar

    mint Reply Report comment

    April 26, 2018 at 12:57 am

    The mall has a unpleasant lingering smell something putrid in the air. Not sure what else lives at the mall, heard a story in the old days Greek priests would walk up to a house and within a range could smell sin, it is a possibility for the stench in the air.

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 24, 2018 at 7:02 am

    Little wrong with it??? The roof needs to be replaced (at least 20K minimum) The HVAC is shot and need to be replaced, the plumbing is bad and needs to be replaced, the bricks are falling off the building and that is just the obvious things that can be seen. Then you have back taxes and basic upkeep. It is a money pit and should be torn down.

  3. Avatar

    MattG Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    “As a structure there is little wrong with it, and what might exist could be corrected”…this is incorrect and misinformed, the roof needs numerous repairs if not replacement and their are several other issues that could be quit expensive. Yes less then 38m but still not an easy fix.

  4. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    We don’t need Mason City. We have Rochester, just watch KIMT.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 23, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      LOL! Now that’s funny. Sad but true. But I don’t watch kimt anymore.

  5. Avatar

    Stephen Van Jacobson Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    The City Administrator we should have had (insert Bill Schickel, Josh Masson, and Tom Thoma too stupid to offer him the job) Scott Flory has mentioned that he has a plan to bring a hotel to the Interstate site in Clear Lake and is also considering a conventional center space. Yes, I know he is very close to Robin Anderson, but so what?? He also thinks the guy that runs NIT is intelligent and someone that he could have used in helping rebuild our city. Oh wait, we have the guy that spent 2 years in keokuk and 5 in Bumboldt. What a stupid City Council and a dotard Mayor.

    • Avatar

      Todd Blodgett Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2018 at 9:57 pm

      I don’t always agree with Mr. Marquardt, but only a fool would think he isn’t highly intelligent. Think about it: six years ago, he started NIT, from scratch, not long after resigning from its local rival. At that time, he had no financial backers, no venture capital, no advertisers, and he developed a business plan that he, alone, effectuated.

      When he had the audacity to truthfully point out that NIT represented the future of news reporting in north IA, many people laughed. Others tried (somewhat successfully, at first) to block advertisers from advertising on this site.

      But in the face of adversity, he persevered, and developed a reputation for having superb sources, AND has taken on the so-called Establishment, and prevailed. He also has secured a respected position in north Iowa news reporting and online journalism.

      Advertisers are now far, FAR more likely to continue advertising on NorthIowaToday.com than they are with its north Iowa-based rivals; its revenue stream – which includes subscriptions, paid ads, and other related sources – has made this website a highly profitable enterprise that thousands of readers regularly visit.

      So, just HOW is that NOT “intelligent”?

  6. Avatar

    mint Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 6:06 pm

    The function of a government should not be forcing people to pay taxes and using those taxes to create businesses to compete against the very people/businesses that are being forced to pay the taxes that is what is collectively called a “dictatorship”, the $ collected for property taxes are supposed to go toward streets and street repair, the mall is a failed $ pit.

  7. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    Really, I have heard the plumbing is shot, the roof needs to be replaced, the Ac/Heat needs to be replaced, the bricks are falling off the building and that is just to name a few thing wrong with the building. It doesn’t address back taxes and all the legal stuff that has to happen. Knock it down and run Federal as a trough street.

  8. Avatar

    Kraig Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    They should turn it into a city dump

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      Then it would match the rest of this town.

  9. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    So the city government should essentially confiscate privately owned property, then go into the retail business competing against other privately owned retailers?!?!?! This ‘news site’ constantly goes to new heights in stupidity.

    I think the city government should confiscate this tabloid ‘news site’ and sell their news for 25 cents les than the Globe.

  10. Avatar

    There Is Some Talk About This Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 3:50 pm

    Talk is there is a Ice Hockey Rink being considered in the “Area” but not in Mason City. Wouldn’t this be a hoot to have the rug pulled out form under the inept leaders. Would be a huge WIN for Mason City.

  11. Avatar

    Sick Of Mason City's BS Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Mr. Children, that is a great business plan. Fact of the matter is the guy from New York bought the place for $2,000,000.00 and if you borrowed 2 million @6% for 30 years your payments would only be $144,000.00 per year. The mall was 220,000 square feet and if he leased out 175000 sq. ft. at $6.00 per sq. he is going make plenty. You all run the numbers. That mall is very lease-able in today’s market even with Amazon in the mix.

    None of this is going to happen because the slime-balls running this city won’t let it happen, They want all the do-rae-me from doing the project to put in their own pockets.

  12. Avatar

    No Hotel Reply Report comment

    April 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Good points. I see Pamela Wright & Kevin Jacobson are eager to go after homes of people behind on their taxes,,,What about the Mall Owner? He is way behind on his taxes and judging by his words and actions has no intent on paying. Time to look at other options besides the forced hotel/hockey project. A new hockey rink SHOULD be built at the obvious site, the Fairgrounds.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      April 22, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      you’d have to be more than 1 year delinquent on your property taxes until a tax sale occurs. The mall owner is not more than 1-year delinquent (he continues to pay past due taxes just before this threshold). He is getting the very same treatment any other property owner would when it comes to payment of property tax.

      Where would the money come for this new hockey arena you are proposing at the fairgrounds?!?!!? Labor and materials aren’t free. How would it be paid for…

      • Avatar

        Promises Promises Reply Report comment

        April 22, 2018 at 6:28 pm

        The $2 million the MC Youth Hockey said they would raise would be a good start! As for for the Mall owner, he has had substantial tax arrears for way over a year. Just because you pay a little or promise to doesn’t cut it!

        • Avatar

          Anonymous Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2018 at 9:48 pm

          $2M would probably pay for the foundations for a ice facility. Where would the other $5–$10M come from?!?!

          The mall owner is getting the very same treatment any other property owner would get with a delinquent property tax bill. It would take YEARS for a property transfer to occur from delinquent taxes.

        • Avatar

          MattG Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2018 at 10:25 pm

          “legally it does cut it”

        • Avatar

          MattG Reply Report comment

          April 22, 2018 at 10:27 pm

          As I said before the eviction time-frame alone will be the end to this project, plus he has paid some parcel taxes right before they are due. laws are in place to protect the property owner for a reason, good luck MC