Longmont set to play eminent domain card for Twin Peaks Mall
Longmont's mayor Dennis Coombs said Tuesday night the Longmont City Council, acting as the Longmont Urban Renewal Authority, could authorize the use of eminent domain on the Dillard's property on Tuesday, April 9, or earlier. Fort Collins-based NewMark Merrill Mountain States representatives have negotiated for months with Dillard's department store representative to agree on a plan.
Dillard's spokeswoman Julie Bull was not immediately available for comment following the announcement.
NewMark Merrill's project developer Allen Ginsborg attended the city council meeting briefly but left soon after Coombs made the eminent domain announcement.
"Eminent domain" is the term used to describe a government's legal right to take private property for public use after compensating a property owner.
Coombs read the eminent domain announcement at the start of the Longmont City Council's meeting Tuesday night. Coombs and city council members, meeting as the Longmont Urban Renewal Authority, met behind closed doors from 5:30 to almost 7 p.m. to "discuss negotiation positions and strategies regarding redevelopment of the Twin Peaks Mall and the potential acquisition of property interests therein; and to receive legal advice, provide instructions to negotiators and consider confidential documents, re: same," according to a published city council agenda.
Coombs said Tuesday that city officials wish success to the redevelopment of Twin Peaks Mall
Separately, Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) appears to have wrapped up negotiations with NewMark Merrill, Coombs said Tuesday. Knoxville, Tennessee-based Regal operates the existing 10-screen United Artists theaters at the mall.
NewMark Merrill bought the indoor mall for $8.5 million last year. Since then, Ginsborg has said he has spent "hundreds of thousands of dollars" on the project. Newmark Merrill has met the other two key points needed to receive $27.5 million in urban-renewal authority bonds.
One point was to sign an agreement with a 100,000-square-foot retailer, Ginsborg said. The other was to sign a letter of intent with a natural-foods grocery store. The new development is slated to be complete in fall 2014.
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