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San Bernardino approves land swap with San Manuel for former J.C. Penney property at Carousel Mall

By in Press Enterprise on November 3, 2017

By Brian Whitehead

The city of San Bernardino will receive the 2.48-acre former JCPenney property at the Carousel Mall in exchange for 115 acres in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains in a land swap unanimously approved by the City Council on Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The city now owns most of the now-closed mall, which local leaders hope to redevelop. The Harris Building, which housed Gottschalks, is owned by El Corte Ingles, a department store retailer based in Spain.

Under a reciprocal easement agreement, El Corte Ingles must sign off on any plan to redevelop the mall. City staffers said Wednesday working with the retailer is the next issue to deal with.

Councilwoman Virginia Marquez called the land swap “a win-win” for both parties.

San Manuel sought the 115 acres north of Sterling Avenue and Foothill Drive because the Tribe is outgrowing land to the north and east.

And while appraisers valued the JCPenney property at a much higher price, San Manuel was less concerned with getting an equal return than it was acquiring space for potential residential, school or community use.

“To redevelop the Carousel Mall property, it is quite essential for the synergistic effect of this property to continue on that we need this component,” Councilman John Valdivia said from the dais. “This solves the problem for us here locally, and we’re appreciative for the partnership opportunity of San Manuel.”

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