PALM SPRINGS MALL OWNER: CITY BECOMING AN OPPONENT
Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP partner Michael Leifer was quoted in a Desert Sun article on September 22, 2014 about the Palm Springs Mall which is the center of a dispute between the Mall’s owner and College of the Desert (COD) and the city of Palm Springs.
Leifer, who represents the mall owner, expressed his concern over the city’s involvement in the property that was purchased in 2012 by Haiming Tan, a businessman in China, for $9.2 million. The Mayor of Palm Springs along with COD president Joel Kinnamon together announced plans to build the West Valley Campus on the site of the razed mall. COD said they made an offer to purchase the mall but were not precluded from seizing the property through eminent domain.
According to Leifer, the owners do not want to sell the mall and have plans to develop the property for both residential and commercial use.
“The mall is my client’s property, not CODs. And yet COD seems to have been reaching out to the city for its support,” said Leifer. “It is inappropriate. I don’t know if you own any property, but if two public agencies made an announcement about what they were going to do on your property, that would make you very uncomfortable.”
A meeting between the mall owners and the city is scheduled for September 30th to discuss the development of the mall.