In a 6-1 vote the Longmont City Council approved the use of eminent domain to move forward with the Twin Peaks Mall redevelopment. Councilwoman Sarah Levison cast the dissenting vote, saying she had read some of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Kelo v. City of New London case and did not feel eminent domain was justified.
According to information recently released by NewMark Merrill at the request of the City, the mall developer had tried various options and incentives to convince Dillard’s to participate in the project. In turn, Dillard’s cited various reasons for its disinterest, saying first that it didn’t want to include its store in an open air shopping center. The last explanation, and one that came as a complete surprise to City officials, was that the store did not want to be positioned next to the movie theatre complex, although that had been in the plan from the beginning.
Now the City will go through a variety of steps to acquire the property, included a new appraisal and a formal notice to Dillard’s of the City’s intent to acquire the property. However, negotiations with Dillard’s will also continue in the hope that an agreement can be reached without the use of eminent domain.