ELK GROVE (CBS13) — The new year has Elk Grove city leaders coming up with new ideas for the so-called “ghost mall”. If you’ve driven off Highway 99 you’ve seen it — the construction project has been left unfinished for more than 10 years.
Elk Grove Mayor Steve Ly said, “I’m quite frustrated in this process and ready to move forward.”
Ly wants to know what’s taking so long when it comes to the so-called ghost mall at Kammerer Road and Highway 99.
“I made it clear in my state of the city address that enough time is given: Build a mall or move on!” Ly said.
Local, state, and federal leaders were excited when the first phase was announced: a 400,000 square foot space with 21 tenants.
Mike Smith, a retired Deputy Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has been watching what has and hasn’t happened there. He was excited to hear about plans to build a casino on an adjacent piece of property and hoped it would spur development at the ghost mall site.
“It would bring services, benefits, taxes, goods, and services to the community and jobs,” said Smith.
But it’s been a decade since construction stopped and the developer, the Howard Hughes Corporation, delayed the project.
“Previously, it was the recession that slowed it down, but really there is no excuse now. You look at Delta Shore and the speed with which the developer brought in Delta Shore. There is no excuse for us to not complete it,” said Ly.
Ly, who says the ghost mall was a reason he ran for mayor, wonders why talks have stalled. In late November, the city’s development agreement with the privately held entity expired.
What we’re waiting for is a response from Howard Hughes. They are privately owned and they have a few options, which they can certainly bring forward.
Ly says the city has been responsive to any inquiries. But at this point, the decision is simple either move forward or sell.
“Their investors may see that as not a priority. I’m not quite sure. These are questions we continually have and ask. Publicly and privately, but we have never received a straight answer,” said Ly.
CBS13 has made repeated phone calls in the last couple weeks to the Howard Hughes corporation requesting a comment on this story. So far they have ‘ghosted’ us … on the ghost mall.
So what kind of action could the city take? Eminent domain or perhaps blight fines? The city says it’s evaluating its options. but not prepared to discuss particulars at this time.