NorthPointe Center Owners Not Paying Electricity Bill, Traffic Lights Affected – Y-City News
A once-popular shopping destination, now nearly vacant, appears to be in worse financial shape than previously thought.
The development, built before the Great Recession, on the city’s northern edge, was the subject of several Y-City News investigative pieces, all of which showed an alarming death spiral as retailers large and small are gone. the complex, but new warning signs describe an even grimmer situation, the owners have not paid their electric bill, forcing AEP Ohio to cut the power, affecting at least one traffic light along the SR -60.
According to Zanesville Mayor Don Mason, he was recently notified that AEP Ohio had cut power to a traffic light along SR-60 at its intersection with Gorsky Drive and Colony Hill Drive.
The lights are owned by the city but must be paid for by the mall owner, as part of a development agreement reached in the early 2000s. Upon notification of their failure, Mason instructed city crews to put trash bags on lights and installing temporary stop signs, allowing for the first time in nearly two decades uninterrupted traffic flows through the intersection for those traveling on the state highway.
With the loss of Hobby Lobby in early 2021the NorthPointe Center not only lost a major tenant, causing its occupancy rate to drop dramatically, but that loss put the mall in serious financial trouble.
Y-City News was previously exclusively reported in late 2021 that the site had been sold for $6.5 million, lowering its total valuation and placing the site in receivership. For this article, we calculated that the occupancy rate was only 34%. The restrictions on deeds worsen the overall nationally recognized trend that the commercial retail site is facing as consumers turn to online shopping, as the sprawling complex cannot house retailers who sell alcohol or provide medical services.
The developer entered into a tax increment financing agreement (100% over 30 years) in the early 2000s, which prevented the improved property valuation from the typical property tax collection process, in this cases, mainly with the local school in West Muskingum. Typically, TIFs are designed to promote and encourage significant economic investment, but as this agreement has shown, as is often seen across the country, they rarely, if ever, materialize through their plans for economic impact statements filed with municipal governments.
Y-City News is investigating why authorities did not reduce or eliminate the TIF, as it appears the owners failed to deliver on their initial economic promises.
CWCapital, the mall’s new owner, did not return our request for comment.
Do you have additional information about this mall, other information that you think our news organization should know about, or want to bring to our attention a matter that requires investigation? We would like to hear from you. Contact us at (740) 562-6252, email us at [email protected] or mail us at PO Box 686, Zanesville, Ohio 43701. All sources are strictly confidential.