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Racine advances $16 million mall rescue plan


Trusted national news sources such as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times continue to augur the fall the mall, but many American towns won’t give them up without a fight.

One such is Racine, Wisconsin, whose City Plan Commission advanced a scheme to revitalize the failing Regency Mall by forming a tax increment district (TID) around the 134-acre site that includes out-lots housing Target, Home Depot, Toys R Us, and the High Ridge Center.

The TID designation would have a 27-year life that will involve municipal expenditures of an estimated $15.7 million - $13.1 million of which will be allocated to development incentives, according to the local Journal Times.

A report delivered by Racine city staff at a recent Commission hearing found a 60% vacancy rate at Regency, expected Kmart to close soon, and saw more than half of the stores in the TID zone in “immediate need of rehabilitation.”

The nearly 700,000-sq.-ft., Hull Property Group mall is the fifth largest in Wisconsin and includes tenants such as Burlington Coat Factory, The Children’s Place, Party City, Kay Jewelers, Foot Locker, Chuck E. Cheese’s, and Applebee’s.

If the plan is passed in a vote of the Racine City Council next month, Regency will join the state’s top four malls in owning a TID designation.

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