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Tuesday - April 24, 2018 2:36 am

City's downtown economic future looking comparatively brighter than mall area Featured

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Bob Good Photography Studios. Bob Good Photography Studios.

The future is looking increasingly like the past when it comes to commercial and retail areas.

Not that long ago, big malls and big parking lots on big stretches of formerly empty land was the big thing.

Clearly, that's changed with more big retailers closing up shop in mall areas, like Herberger's and Macy's in the Valley View Mall.

“It’s the reality of what we are facing in this day and age with this much online retail and online shopping,” La Crosse Mayor Kabat said.

What’s looking increasingly like good bet is a diversified business environment, like that of which exists in downtown La Crosse.

But Kabat isn't ready to write off Valley View Mall just yet, which is almost a necessity. The mall's valued at around $78 million and will pay almost $2 million in property taxes — only behind Gundersen and Kwik Trip.

Kabat said both the mall owners and city staff are working to secure a solid future for the property moving forward.

“And also look at the mall area a bit differently,” Kabat said. “I would suspect that’s going to continue.”

The city's downtown had been a big retail and commercial center prior to the mall investment in the 1980s. Just in the last several years that has turned around — much of that having to do with the number of people living and working the downtown area.

“In some ways. I think the downtowns have been better prepared for this, and now we need to work with the mall and those types of facilities to do, in essence, a lot of the same things,” Kabat said.

 

Last modified on Tuesday - April 24, 2018 3:14 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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