The city owns a parcel of land, but to make the dream of having a regional mall on it a reality, officials need to find the right retailer. So they are planning a trip to Las Vegas this month.
"It's one thing to have a mall, and it's another thing to have the right stores there to keep it active and open," said City Councilwoman Barbra Williamson.
The city purchased land in 1992 at Highway 118 and 1st Street on which officials hope to build a 800,000-square-foot mall. But the city has yet to strike a deal with any anchor tenants or large department stores to attract shoppers.
That is at least partly because giant retailers have been consolidating over the years, creating fewer retail options for malls looking for anchor tenants, said Brian Gabler, assistant city manager for economic development.