The Carson Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday approved the design plans for a proposed $30-million renovation of the ailing Carson Mall.
Redesigning the mall's interior and exterior is a key issue in negotiations to lure furniture giant Ikea to the shopping center. The Swedish-based chain is in talks with the city and the mall's owners to locate an Ikea warehouse at the present site of an outlet of The Broadway.
Although the agency approved new design plans for the mall, its members could not decide--during a closed-door meeting Tuesday night--whether to lend the ownership group $10 million to complete the $30-million project.
Critics in the agency say the proposal by the ownership group, Carson Mall Partners, is a losing proposition for the city because the revenue the agency would receive from the project would be used instead to repay the loan. Others say the mall renovation is less risky than doing nothing at all. They note that the mall, which opened in 1973, has historically struggled to remain profitable.
Carson Mall Partners contends that the center's future hinges on the Ikea deal.