CRESTVIEW — The Crestview Power Center, a shopping mall planned for a site north of Lowe's, is in limbo after its developer abruptly pulled out of the project, city officials said.
In June, representatives of Atlanta-based Watkins Retail Group said several national retail chains were eager to lease space in the mall. However, Mayor David Cadle said, "My understanding is Watkins pulled out because they discovered the property they were building on has reserved all mineral rights beneath the property.”
A Louisiana development group immediately expressed interest in taking over the project, but has not presented a formal proposal to the city. The Louisiana company wasn’t concerned about developing shopping centers on land beneath which other companies hold mineral rights, Cadle said.
"They don't have a problem with mineral rights being reserved because they're from Louisiana, which has a lot of oil under peoples' property," Cadle said.
Calls to Watkins' Crestview attorney were not returned.
Crestview officials built partnerships with Watkins and other developers in the area to provide utilities for the planned site, and explored ways of legally waiving some city impact fees if Watkins were to request them.
Watkins had not formally applied to the city for any waivers prior to withdrawing from the project, officials said.