Worry about the future of Shoppingtown Mall in DeWitt gets federal attention

Suggesting the owners of DeWitt's Shoppingtown Mall are holding taxpayers hostage because they have not revealed a plan for the facility, Senator Chuck Schumer will make a new annoucement Thursday. According to Schumer's office, he will call on LNR Property, the new owner of ShoppingTown Mall, to immediately cooperate with the Town of DeWitt, Onondaga County and local stakeholders to develop a long-term plan for the mallâ??s redevelopment.

The Senator says since LNR Property of Florida took control of the mall in May of 2011, the new owner has been completely silent in response to the Townâ??s outreach for answers and some level of certainty regarding future plans for the dwindling retail center. Schumer will urge LNR Property to make clear their intentions because such answers are critical for the Town of DeWitt and Onondaga County to plan their budgets.

Schumer claims a loss of the ShoppingTown Mall could cost millions in uncollected taxes and could force DeWitt to make tough choices for its residents and taxpayers, and a potentially vacant site would be a blight on the community.

At 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, Schumer stand with DeWitt town leaders, a representative of Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney, and others to urge LNR Property to end what he says has been over a year of uncertainty. He will call on this firm to prioritize new development plans to turn ShoppingTown Mall into a vibrant, mixed-use retail site that will provide important economic benefit to the region.

At the very least, Schumer is calling on the Florida company to be a responsible corporate citizen and swiftly respond to the Townâ??s requests for answers as to the future of this site, so that stakeholders can plan appropriately for the future of the Townâ??s and Onondaga Countyâ??s budget.