The owners of the land underneath Cloverleaf Mall have rejected Chesterfield County's initial offer of $4.25 million, casting a shadow over the mall's redevelopment.
In January, county officials inked an agreement with developer Crosland Inc., which is planning to tear down the mall and build a mixed-used retail, residential and office development that so far has only one known tenant: a Kroger grocery store.
Crosland has agreed to purchase the mall buildings from the county for $9.25 million, but can't begin the redevelopment until the county gains control of the land.
Millmar Properties, which owns the approximately 46 acres on which the mall buildings sit, rejected the county's initial offer earlier this year, setting in motion a complex appraisal process set out in the county's lease agreement with Millmar.
According to the lease, the county has the first right of refusal to purchase the property. If Millmar rejects the county's offer, the lease spells out a process whereby the county and Millmar each select a real-estate appraiser, who then jointly selects an independent appraiser who takes a lead role in determining the property's value.
A message left at the offices of Millmar weren't returned by press time. But sources tell Style Weekly that Millmar had the property appraised more than two years ago at $7.3 million and think the land is worth at least that amount.
Tom Jacobson, Chesterfield's director of community revitalization, says the county anticipated a rejection of the initial offer. "The initial offer was based on
what was in our contract with them," he says, and the $4 million amount was predetermined in the lease.
Jacobson declined to speculate on how much the county would be willing to pay. "This is what we've anticipated," he says, "and we're going through the steps outlined in the ground lease."
Jacobson says the county expects to appoint its appraiser soon and anticipates that the issue will be resolved in the next few months. SClick here for more News and Features