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"It's been neglected for so long:" Plan Moving Forward to Revitalize Regency Mall

The Racine City Plan Commission is moving forward with a plan to revitalize the area around Regency Mall.

They approved a new tax increment district in the area. Most of the stores inside Regency Mall have left, but the city is looking into a new plan to bring more retail back to the area.

"The problem is there hasn't been an investment into the property and it's been neglected for so long," said Jordan Brown with the Racine County Economic Development Cooperation.

Regency Mall in Racine has seen better days but the City Plan Commission wants to put in place a tax incremental district to help bring the mall back to life. A "TID" is a special financing tool that allows a city to borrow while repairing the property.

"Most of the malls in southeast Wisconsin either have been built with a tax increment district or have been revitalized through a tax increment district program. That's really the biggest economic tool that we have in the state of Wisconsin," said Amy Connolly, Director of City Development.

Amy Connolly with the City Plan Commission says 60% of the mall is vacant but it now has new ownership. A company purchased the property in December.

"We know that the Racine market is very strong. We know that it can support a mall. We just have to have the opportunities there to revitalize it and put the stores in to make it succeed."

Local leaders expect the TID to bring in about 15 million dollars to revamp the mall and nearby stores.

Racine County has also been actively involved in this process.

"It's important to the area that we put not only time and money and thought into this process, but if it continues as it is now, it could devastating for the region. We need to actually reinvest not only time and money into this but also effort," said Brown.

The common council plans to vote on this issue in April. The new owners of the mall, also plan to attend. 

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