STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) – Stevens Point city officials have filed their official response to a lawsuit against the condemnation of Centerpoint Mall.
The city condemned the mall as blight earlier this year. Third Court, the holding company in charge of the mall, claims that both the city and the community development authority caused the blight and, because of that, cannot condemn the property using eminent domain. City officials say that the holding company hasn't denied that the property is now a blight and that they didn't mitigate their own losses in the process.
The lawsuit also claims that turning the mall into a college campus would violate an existing agreement that requires the mall to be run as a first class retail shopping center. The city says that Valley Bank and other holders of the property stated publicly for some time that they were fully behind the city's attempts to refurbish the mall and buy it out.
The lawsuit is the latest salvo in the city’s bid to redevelop a significant portion of its downtown. The city offered $910,000 as the final condemnation price. But Third Court, which is owned by Iowa-based Valley Bank, rejected that offer.