San Bernardino loses Carousel Mall developer, city calls it ‘just a setback’ – San Bernardino Sun

Dallas-based Lincoln Property Co. is withdrawing from the team tasked with redeveloping Carousel Mall in downtown San Bernardino.

In a recent letter to city officials, Lincoln West Vice President Rob Kane wrote: “Due to economic and other circumstances, it has become evident that Lincoln and the City will be unable to successfully negotiate a DDA (Development and Disposition Agreement).”

Consequently, Kane added, the real estate and development firm will “withdraw and terminate any further participation under the (Exclusive Negotiation Agreement).”

Lincoln was added to the redevelopment team of Renaissance Downtowns USA and ICO Real Estate Group in August.

With a track record of financing and raising projects similar in size and scope to what has been proposed for Carousel Mall, Lincoln’s addition as the sole and exclusive developer of the 43-acre property was considered a boon for San Bernardino and the long-awaited venture.

Renaissance Downtowns USA and ICO Real Estate Group were to become silent partners in the deal as a result.

“We’re very excited about this project,” Stephen Lindgren, Lincoln senior vice president, told the City Council Aug. 3. “We think it’s very transformational. We know how important this is to the community. We want to do it thoughtfully and right from the start.”

In a statement Friday, Oct. 14, the city commented: “The real estate market, largely due to spiking interest rates to finance projects, has slowed significantly in just the past few months.”

With Lincoln out of the picture, RD-ICO can reassume its role as principal developer.

While the city awaits word on how the group plans to proceed, city officials are reviewing proposals to demolish Carousel Mall.

A staff recommendation is expected to go before the City Council for approval in the coming months.

“This is disappointing,” City Manager Rob Field said in a statement. “But it is just a setback. This project will keep moving forward.

“National market forces, especially interest rates, are impacting every project,” Field added. “But the housing market is still very tight in this region and the development opportunities in Downtown San Bernardino remain extremely attractive.”

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