DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The wrecking ball took its first swing on redevelopment of the old Valley View Mall in North Dallas last summer. In its place was promised a 430-acre, $4 billion district with retail, housing, a hotel, and a sprawling park.
And then everything stopped.
“What the public doesn’t know is literally, the day we began demolition, the city actually terminated our developer agreement,” says Scott Beck, President and CEO of Beck Ventures.
City Council member Lee Kleinman says the city withdrew the $36 million agreement after several warnings.
“They had not fulfilled any of the terms of the original $36 million development agreement,” he says.
Beck says they were a victim of timing and City Hall politics. He says they have filed for a new agreement – now $50 million – but councilman Kleinman says first – the mall must come down.
“We’re not taking any more wooden nickels. We’ve had so many promises from them, I just don’t think we can count on that,” he says.
Kleinman says he also wants to see the resolution of a negligence lawsuit filed by Beck Ventures against the developer who owns the former Macy’s site. That case is set to go to trial in August.
Beck says they’ve offered to put the money to demolish the mall into escrow as a sign of good faith, but they won’t move forward without that developer agreement.
“Really the only thing holding this up is a developer agreement put back in place, and had that not gone away last year, it’d be a very different story at this point in time,” Beck says.
Without it, Beck says the barely-inhabited mall can stay as is for now, with a movie theatre and little else. While the standoff continues, both sides agree the current state of Valley View Mall is heartbreaking.
“It is disappointing and frustrating that we can’t get that off the ground,” says Beck.
“We’re stuck. It’s a shame” says Kleinman.
Beck says if they reach an agreement with the city, demolition would begin again almost immediately. Even then, it would then take 2-3 years to finish the project.