The Carousel of DestiNY brings in its revenges…

…or is it just the whirligig of Time?

Citigroup: Destiny spent $18 million on consultants, ‘gimmicks’

Bob Congel gets spanked by Daddy Citi.

“That amount has largely gone to pay expenses for Destiny personnel, Web site creation, high-priced marketing consultants and marketing gimmicks such as painting the existing Carousel mall green, with only approximately $5.4 million spent on actual (construction) trade costs that the borrower claims are associated with store build-out, and none on tenant allowances,” the bank said.

About a year ago, Destiny repainted almost the entire interior of Carousel Center — most of it in shades of green — to emphasize the green technologies it says will be incorporated into the expansion. Citigroup also said that despite years of effort and the claimed expenditure of millions of dollars, Destiny has been unable to produce even a single executed lease for the mall expansion…

“Borrower has admitted to Citigroup that traditional approaches to leasing mall space have been a failure, and as an alternative, borrower has pursued a series of novel and previously untested leasing concepts to fill the mall,” the bank said. Those concepts include an approach the developer has named “Arendi,” in which the mall provides market research to tenants by using technology to track consumer behavior in the stores, in return for below-market rents and an increased share of profits being paid to the developer, Citigroup said.

Not sure Bob wanted that Big Brother strategy to get out just yet. Oh well.

But he promised world-class shoppertainment… and he has delivered. Pass the popcorn — I am feeling mighty shoppertained right now!

Updated: Here’s more.

3 Replies to “The Carousel of DestiNY brings in its revenges…”

  1. I think they should just go with their strengths, and keep paying their market-research-consultant buddies. Expand on the “greenwashing” and “economic development cash” themes by painting actual tenant stores with goods onto the empty stores, could even be low-priced environmentally-friendly goods. Then, the market researchers could gather data about which pictures of goods people prefer, and sell that to the County or the State or something, so that they know what stores to sponsor (pay for) to come sell real things at the Mall someday!

    Sounds like a business model to me!

  2. Random idea: take all the Creative Class types that move into the area and have their palms implanted with a crystal that starts to blink when they turn 40, then have them report to “The Carousel of DestiNY” for their “last day” ceremony.

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