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Wausau Center Mall progress stalls


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- Saving the Wausau Center Mall has been the all summer stall. That’s the impression many Wausau city council members are getting, since they still have no signed agreement with CBL Properties on a redevelopment package to get new businesses and attractions in the retail center.

Members of the city’s Economic Development Committee are frustrated with the lack of action by CBL, who has had Wausau’s latest offer in their hands, but has failed to sign it. One of them is Council President Romey Wagner.  “I think we’re still at the same place we were, and as sad as it may seem, we don’t seem to have made any progress in the past three months.”

CBL does have some of its mall properties around the country up for sale, but has refused to say if Wausau Center Mall is one of them. The committee has instructed the city’s staff to continue contacting CBL officials to find out what they intend to do.

Wagner says with or without CBL, he believes the city must act.  “We’ve got to have a plan. We’ve got to save that retail space, whether we help CBL do it or whether it’s a new owner if they sell it or something.”

Earlier this summer, the City Council voted to proceed with negotiations that would give CBL & Associates about $755,000 in financial incentives to redevelop the mall and find a long term tenant for the former Penney’s wing. Part of that offer includes forgiving lease payments to the city, which owns the land the mall sits on.