March 31st, 2006
Brian R. Ball , Business First of Columbus
The landlord of the Columbus City Center mall has hired Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd. as its consultant in the redevelopment of the woebegone property.
Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. has asked the real estate development arm of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. to advise the nonprofit agency on plans mall manager Mills Corp. and partner General Motors Pension Trust decide to pursue in the coming months.
“In order for (Mills and GM) to go forward, they’ll need a lot of approvals from us and probably some participation by us in the property,” said John Rosenberger, Capitol South’s executive director. “To have the depth of field for those proposals, we’ve engaged (Nationwide Realty) as an adviser … to make us a better partner for the owner of the center.”
The 1.2 million-square-foot mall has struggled for years, especially since the opening of the Mall at Tuttle Crossing near Dublin, Easton Town Center in northeast Columbus and Polaris Fashion Place in southern Delaware County.
Hard times for department stores in general have also taken their toll. City Center anchors Marshall Field’s and Jacobson’s have long since abandoned Columbus, while Federated Department Stores Inc. closed the adjacent Lazarus-Macy’s store more than a year ago.
“Anyone paying attention to City Center is concerned about its distress and its future,” Rosenberger said.