MOLINE, Ill. — A Quad Cities staple is under the economic microscope once again as online shopping continues to wipe out malls across the nation.
The City of Moline first attempted to help SouthPark Mall back in 2013 with a tax increment financing, or "TIF." The hope was that the value of the mall would increase over time, but that hasn't been the case.
The City is now considering taking away the TIF for the mall and creating a new TIF district in East Moline, and the focus is shifting to revitalizing the mall.
"Down in Texas, for example, they have really taken some of the older parts of their malls, taking them down and creating more outdoor shopping areas…and there's community gathering spaces and event spaces and things like that," said Ryan Hvitlok, Moline's community economic development director.
Hvitlok says the TIF was supposed to bring in new developments and increase the mall's taxable value, but the mall's taxable value is actually less today than when the TIF was created.
News 8 spoke with Habaneros, the only restaurant inside the mall. They say they have a loyal customer base, and that if customers were solely off of mall traffic, they would most likely not be able to survive.
"From what I've heard was that places were leaving because the rent was just too high," said Adriana Sanchez, a server at Habaneros. "And with there not being a lot of traffic here, they just weren't making enough revenue."
The City will discuss whether or not to remove the TIF later this summer.