City Council authorizes purchase of mall property

The city of Columbus’ purchase of the Fair Oaks Mall property is one step closer to being a done deal.

The city of Columbus has partnered with Columbus Regional Health and Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County to offer to purchase the more than 35 acre site for $5.9 million. The current breakdown of costs is $4,087,500 from the city, $1,362,500 from CRH and $450,000 from Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. Mayor Jim Lienhoop says the goal is to create an indoor sports facility for the parks department, enhanced by an on-site a CRH facility. The specifics of how and what the site will be developed into has yet to be established.

The city council voted unanimously on Oct. 16th to create the non-profit group, Fair Oaks Community Development Corporation. Mary Ferdon, the city’s director of administration, says there are eight directors, with the city naming six and CRH naming two. During Monday night’s council meeting, the body voted to set aside the money and authorize the FOCDC to purchase of the property.

Officials say the plan is to close on the property in mid-December. Inspections at the site are ongoing and the purchase agreement can be withdrawn until Dec. 1st. Mayor Lienhoop says that leases at the mall are being honored and that no retailer is being forced out immediately by the impending purchase.