BREAKING NEWS (updated at 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25)

Crestwood mayor says ‘mall will be sold tomorrow’

By BURKE WASSON

According to Crestwood Mayor Roy Robinson, the Westfield Shoppingtown Crestwood “will be sold tomorrow.”

Robinson said at the Board of Aldermen’s Tuesday night meeting that based on information recently learned by city officials, the mall that has long been on the Westfield Co.’s auction block is expected to be sold soon.

“Tomorrow will be a great time for the city of Crestwood because it is my belief — nothing official — that the mall will be sold tomorrow,” Robinson said. “And if that happens, then we can only see great things happen. And if I wasn’t so sure that it’s going to happen, I wouldn’t tell you anything.

“But I was asked last week am I smiling? I wasn’t too much two weeks ago. Today, I’m smiling. I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen tomorrow. And there’s been nothing official come out on it. We’ve just got our people who are snooping. And just like the press, they’re trying to find out whether we can. But we honestly believe that something is in the mill and hopefully we’ll find out some time tomorrow. I don’t know if we will. It’s all up to Westfield and when they want to release it. But it sure looks good.”

Tentative plans for the mall property, which has suffered annual declines in sales-tax revenue and a deteriorating structure, have included converting the mall into a mixed-use development as part of a project valued more than $200 million.

Crestwood officials speculated last year that the mall’s redevelopment likely would be done in three phases at a cost of more than $250 million.

Robinson has said that he has told prospective developers that the mall “will” be redeveloped in phases to allow the city to continue collecting revenue from existing stores.

In January, city officials disputed a report published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the mall had been sold. The newspaper reported Jan. 24 that “according to knowledgeable sources,” Chicago’s Centrum Properties and New York-based Angelo, Gordon & Co. had entered into a contract to purchase the Crestwood mall from the Westfield Group.

The sale and future development of the struggling Crestwood mall — which last year had a reported 55-percent occupancy rate — have been a concern for city officials as 53 percent of Crestwood’s sales-tax revenue comes from the mall.

For more information on this developing sale, check www.callnewspapers.com throughout the week.