City right to demand guarantee on mall
The Decatur City Council is wise to seek a guaranteed return if it invests $4 million in the $19 million renovation of Colonial Mall.
The improvement will increase the property's value as well as make the mall more attractive and convenient for local shoppers.
The mall is not a property Colonial is looking to sell soon, the company says. But the improvements will obviously make it more attractive to potential investors.
The council has taken the right approach to the city's possible investment in the Colonial renovation. The city stands to benefit from increased property taxes and, hopefully, additional sales-tax revenue generated by the upgrade.
But the city also would take some of the risk associated with the $19 million investment. It only makes sense that the council insists on a guaranteed return on the city's investment in the event Colonial opts to sell the mall at a profit.
The council should make a requirement that Colonial pay off the city's bond issue in the event of the property's sale a prerequisite to its participation in funding the improvement.