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Board of review cuts estimated market value of Eastland Mall by 24%


The McLean County Board of Review has reduced the assessed value of Eastland Mall by a couple million dollars — from $8.7 million to $6.7 million. The assessed value is one third of the estimated market value of a property and is used to compute property taxes owed to government bodies such as municipalities, townships, and school districts.

The mall claimed the shift to online shopping reduced the viability of the shopping area that opened in 1966. There have been multiple additions since then. Mall attorney Mike Sweeney said at a board of review hearing last month that Eastland now has only one anchor tenant out of five major buildings and can no longer be considered a regional mall.

"They put money into it to try and maintain it but trying to draw tenants into a mall that has no anchor tenants is quite difficult," said Sweeney.

At that hearing, District 87 attorney John Pratt argued the public should not suffer because of choices management has made to do nothing with the property.

“When the anchors left we all made concessions. But that has now been seven years ago. And the system is not built so that the taxpayer can take advantage of not doing anything on this property. That's not the way the system works," said Pratt.

Pratt noted other three corners of the intersection at Veterans Parkway and Route 9 have had additional construction or re-development and their values have grown "way more than 10%."

The McLean County Board of Review now estimates the market value of the mall at $20 million, down from a previous valuation of $26 million. Mall owners had asked for a valuation of $15.6 million.

The board's decision is a 24% reduction in assessed value. The mall had asked for a 40% chop. District 87 schools and Heartland Community College had offered a 10% cut in the assessment to settle the dispute.

The mall can still appeal to a panel that reviews such disputes: the state Property Tax Appeals Board.

Mall owners last appealed to that levelin 2019. The mall and taxing bodies settled the dispute in 2020 and that assessment remained static until this year.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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