Sunday, February 11, 2007

Tipping point at the University Mall - tax break to "The Gap?"

The University Mall is doing pretty well these days. Granted that the food court is a disaster, but we don't really need more fast food in Carbondale anyway. Like downtown back then, it looked much different when I moved back to town 5.5 years ago. Everything was pretty empty and something like the Marion Mall looks today.

I think that giving the tax break to "The Gap" store and getting Old Navy in the bargain was the tipping point that turned the Mall around. At the time, I didn't like it. The results sure look good now.

What do you think, was the city giving The Gap a tax break a good idea? Would the Mall have rebounded and be doing this well without it?

Your comments are always welcome.


Anonymous said...

The odd part is that the Gap is no longer there in the form that the Mall wanted. It's a Gap Outlet.

Carbondale still has a long way to go, but of course, so does the rest of Southern Illinois, having to be dragged into the 21st century.

sthorne said...

I still think it was a bad idea. Accoding to an article in today's DE:

Eastgate Mall is reviving through the addition of Ashley Furniture and Gold's Gym without any incentives. Downtown C'dale has manged to fill most spaces without any incentives. If the mall couldn't fill empty spaces, that probably means it was asking too much for rent. I know I was approached several years ago and felt the price was way too high.

Stan Hansen said...

Hopefully they do not up and leave once the tax break runs out like West Comm. did. Having the Gap / Old Navy at least is an incentive for students, something the city needs. When I first visited Carbondale, I remember thinking, "Hey at least they have a nice mall." Something that NIU, ISU and Western did not have. It was a selling point for me, even if SIU didnt know it. If I had visited Illinois Center in Marion, I might not have chosen SIU.