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Council to move forward with rezoning of former Sears building

The Columbia City Council will vote on rezoning and re-plating a section of the Columbia Mall property that is set to become a second Dillard’s location Monday night.

City Councilman Mike Trapp said the city must rezone and re-plat the property on the corner of Stadium and Bernadette so the space can become a new retail space for Dillard’s.

“We are carving out the old Sears store from the plat of the mall to make it it’s own plat so that the mall can sell it to Dillard’s so it can become another retail establishment,” Trapp said.

Trapp said Dillard’s has a policy of owning the property instead of leasing.

ABC17 News reached out to Dillard’s Cooperate Office, but was unable to make contact.

Columbia Mall manager Rusty Strodtman said Dillard’s is planning on buying the property once it is rezoned and re-plated. He said the store will house the Men’s, Children’s and Home departments.

Strodtman said shoppers could see the second Dillard’s location open in early 2020.

Trapp expressed the importance of the Columbia Mall because the city’s budget is funded by sales tax, which have had decreased revenues in recent years.

“When Macy’s closed, Dillard’s picked up a lot of the retail business,” Trapp said, “So even though we’ve seen a decline in retail, there still have been some isolated winners.”

According to the city council memo, no new construction is proposed for the lot.

The city does not anticipate any short-term financial impacts for the city, but possible impacts in the future could include maintenance such as roads, sewers and water, as well as public safety and solid waste services.

“The mall is an important source of retail business to the Columbia, it provides jobs,” Trapp said. “But primarily it defends our sales tax base, so the last thing we want to see is empty stores in the building.”

Another big change coming to the Columbia Mall is a potential hotel on the property. Strodtman said the mall held its first informational session about the hotel last week. He said the plans will go before Planning and Zoning on Nov. 7, then before council potentially in December.

Strodtman said if all goers according to plan, the hotel could be open sometime in the fall of 2020.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia

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