Raleigh Mall Owners Fear A Shady Deal With The City

(Memphis) It’s a back-and-fourth about big money at a big property.

Raleigh Springs Mall owners are speaking out because they’re afraid the deal they were working on with the city to make the space more vibrant may be dead.

This massive complex can hold more than 50 stores, but currently there are only about 15.

Business owners we spoke with say there has been a lot of change, but not for the better.

Dwight Shine runs the Barber Shop.

He said,”We have a lot of good customers, but we’ve seen a lot of people moving out though. Not knowing what’s going on with the mall.”

Even the owners don’t know what’s going on.

Michael Aschenbrener of the Raleigh Springs Mall LLC said, “There is confusion out there about the future of the mall. He city is talking about tearing it down, while we are talking about prospective tenants about moving in.”

Last year the city announced plans to rehabilitate this mall. – spending $30 million in tax dollars and having private investors kick in another $30 million.

But the mall owners say the city hasn’t reached out to them since late last year about moving forward with these plans.

Now they’re worried the city is trying a different, less expensive tactic.

Aschenbrener said, “Property rights are constitutionally protected there are legal mechanisms for the city to go through to try and acquire land. The city is in the process of doing that as we understand it.”

When asked about the future of the mall at a press conference, the mayor said this:

“It’s the best thing for the community. We’ll sit down with the owners and we will clear that hurdle.”

Business owners agree this shopping area is needed in this community, and the two sides need to come together on a deal.

Shine said, “I think there are a lot of people in Raleigh who need this mall. They don’t want to go to the other malls because it’s far, and they don’t have transportation.”

The mall owners say they’ve invested more than a million dollars fixing the roof, and that they are not against selling the property, but they think the best way forward is by partnering with the city.