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Algadi: Promenade project is still poised for progress

WORTHINGTON -- WREDC Executive Director Abraham Algadi is optimistic about the Promenade on Oxford project, and sees it as a crucial step toward a positive future for Worthington and the surrounding area. "The challenges that the mall can help us...

WORTHINGTON - WREDC Executive Director Abraham Algadi is optimistic about the Promenade on Oxford project, and sees it as a crucial step toward a positive future for Worthington and the surrounding area.
“The challenges that the mall can help us address are longstanding challenges in the community, in terms of retail market capture, restaurants and housing issues,” Algadi said. “A 2013 U of M Retail Trade Analysis of Worthington and Nobles County found that right now we are missing about $125 million in trade dollars per year.”
Worthington is currently taking in only around $350-400 million per year, and the development would help close this gap as well as lessen the so-called ‘leakage’ of Worthington dollars to other communities, Algadi stated. In addition to adding greatly to a section of Oxford Street in need of revamping and capturing additional retail dollars, it could also add significantly to tax revenue for the city of Worthington.
“The mall’s last registered value was about $1.2 million, which generated only $50,000 in property taxes per year and does not pay for the public service costs that are associated with a facility of that size,” Algadi said. “The redevelopment will have a projected value of anywhere from $15-25 million, depending how much money ends up being invested there.”
What’s more, the potential massive reinvestment in the mall property could reverberate on Oxford Street and in the entire community.
“When an investment like this is made, it has a net positive impact on value in the surrounding area - in this case, Oxford Street - which ends up in public coffers as well,” Algadi explained. “If the development succeeds, it will show that Worthington’s market works, will have captured a much larger group of customers and will bring investors waiting to see what happens out of the woodwork.”
WREDC and Pellowski recently contracted with an independent assessor to get a new appraisal (to be used to establish what Algadi and city officials hope will more accurately reflect the current building’s value, in part by comparing the former Northland Mall to more comparable properties around the country.) At this juncture, WREDC and Algadi are waiting on the new assessment, which should be presented to the city and county in February, and are grateful for the work that has been done thus far.
“I think everybody is still committed - the city has shown lots of patience, and we appreciate that,” Algadi said. “WREDC board members have been involved, and the county commissioners want to see it happen. I have not talked to a single person or business in Worthington that has said they don’t want to see it occur - everybody is saying ‘let’s get it done.”’

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