Dangerously Exploitative

bad_idea_sign_crossbonesThe new mall plan looks DOA to me.  Basically, we are replacing Dillard’s with Sam’s Club, aka Walmart.  Why does Longmont need 3 Walmarts?

And what small businesses will want to be in the same mall as Walmart?  Why cozy up with people who will undercut small business prices?

And by the way, it’s not “at the peaks,” which are quite far away.  A confusing name that pretends to be something that it is not, but then the whole project could be seen in the same light.

The stores that Newmark Merrill has in mind are not bringing new kinds of business to Longmont.  On the contrary, they are aggressively overlapping with stores on Hover and Ken Pratt that have proven they can do business here.  The mall’s intent is to siphon off that business, not develop new business.

The TIF (tax incremental financing) is what the developer is looking to pocket, and reaping all these tax dollars will also give them the upper hand in undercutting the prices of the existing stores they seek to undermine.  That’s not a productive way to do business.  It is basically parasitic.  And very NON competitive.  It will use TIF to destroy what are now viable businesses, and will only replace them with a cheaper version.  If you think Twin Peaks Mall has succumbed to urban blight, wait ‘til you see what Hover and Ken Pratt will look like in 5-10 years.

Big box abandonment will be pervasive.  Or Longmont City Council will be dishing even more TIF money in an attempt to save them.

This is a poisonous project and NM should be kicked out of here.  It is self-destructive for Longmont to continue with this plan.

And don’t you look forward to 25 different versions of “Planet of the Apes” in stadium seating.  And then you can enjoy “patio dining” in the low-budget fast food court in 100 degree weather (or about 20 in winter) –cheaper by far since there’s no need for cooling or heating.

That the new mall will restore Longmont’s reputation as the armpit of Boulder  County is really the least of our problems.  This is a financially unsound plan, designed to benefit the developer and not the city or residents.  It will damage Longmont very seriously.  Longmont’s tax dollars would be far better spent in redeveloping Main Street, Kimbark, and Coffman.

  2 comments for “Dangerously Exploitative

  1. May 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    This is the most perceptive review of the Newmark Merrill plan for the former Twin Peaks Mall that I have seen since the discussion about the current plan. We do not need a Sam’s Club at the mall, and a Whole Foods store is simply more competition for Sprouts and Vitamin Cottage. The one store that would, in my opinion, be a logical anchor for the mall is Dillard’s and I would be much more likely to trust them to come up with a workable plan for the mall. Right now we have a proposal for a massive disaster, and the Longmont City Council seems determined to make sure it happens. Thank you, Ms. Kibbey, for your excellent article.

  2. Gregory Iwan
    May 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    And here I thought the fracking lawsuits were going to ruin us. Hmmm. Actually, I think because the new “mall” must “self-assess” to cover the TIF (very much like Park Meadows in Lone Tree), that the sales tax rate on transactions there will be higher than elsewhere in the city, leading most shoppers to take their trade to other stores and venues. These developer types are fond of saying that they believe in “the market,” etc., etc., ad nauseam. Bull____ . Wait until THE MARKET whacks this new “mall.” Anybody care to install a go-kart track over at Hover and the Diagonal? Why not.

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