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Civic Center's move to mall closer to reality
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An agreement between the city of McMinnville and Three Star Mall is back on track. 

A dispute over broken HVAC units at the mall, and who would pay to replace them, had cooled negotiations.

The mall had inserted language into the lease agreement that required the city to pay for repairs with one estimate approaching $50,000. Mayor Ben Newman called that stipulation a “deal breaker” and said the city would begin looking elsewhere.

However, mall officials have backed off that requirement.

“The mall has agreed to maintain the units which could include repair or replace if the units need it during our occupancy,” said Newman. “The city will be responsible for general maintenance such as replacing belts and filters.”

City attorney Tim Pirtle is currently working on lease negotiations, with the end result being the city relocating its Civic Center activities when it closes for a $9.2 million renovation and expansion project. The agreement with the mall is for five spaces at $5.50 per square foot for 10,311 feet. 

Newman anticipates he’ll sign the contract in the next week and relocation will begin. However, no exact date has been set.

All fitness-related classes, including the weight room, will be relocated to the mall, while basketball league games will continue at Hickory Creek Elementary.

“I think the only thing you are losing are the individuals who walk in to play basketball,” said city administrator Bill Brock. 

Newman added, “Keep in mind that we have an outdoor basketball court. There’s one at Ramsey Park. It’s a nice park with good basketball goals, too.”

No exact date is set for Civic Center closure and relocation.