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Columbus redeveloping company sues City Center Mall operator; Mayor Coleman ready to take control of

After years of losing business the City of Columbus has jumped on an opportunity to take control of City Center Mall. Mayor Michael Coleman announced Tuesday the mall's operator was sent an eviction notice.

Mayor Michael Coleman called City Center Mall the elephant in the room. Coleman said as downtown Columbus booms with redevelopment, City Center continues to lose business. The mayor said the mall's out-of-town manager, TL-Columbus, did not pay July's rent giving the city its first opportunity to take legal action.

"While the city owns the land, we do not control the mall or its operation. And we do not control its development. Therefore, our goal is simple: to take control of this property and redevelop it," Coleman announced.

Capitol South Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation filed suit against TL-Columbus Tuesday. The suit seeks to recover about $200,000 in back rent and about $1 million in accrued real estate taxes. TL-Columbus was sent a notice terminating the lease, as well as an eviction notice.

Nationwide Realty Investors agreed to create a redevelopment plan for City Center once the mall is turned over to the city.

Business at City Center peaked in 1994 when it was at about 90 percent occupancy. Today that number is closer to 20 percent.