Simon and Macerich halt Carson mall project, slam city for “wasting” $100M

Developers plan to resume litigation over development on a former landfill

Simon and Macerich Halt Carson Outlet Mall Project

From left: Carson mayor Lula Davis-Holmes, Simon Property Group CEO David Simon and Macerich CEO Jackson Hsieh along with a rendering of the halted outlet mall project in Carson (Getty, Macerich)

Simon Property Group and Macerich have halted their outlet mall project in the city of Carson, slamming the city “wasting” $100 million and failing to come to a solution to move the project out of litigation. 

The publicly traded companies have been embroiled in litigation over the project, which sits within a 157-acre former landfill in the city of Carson, since 2018, when the firms signed an agreement with the city to build the outlet mall. 

Simon and Macerich struck a deal in 2022 to push the project forward, under which Simon and Macerich agreed to pay for the cleanup costs. 

But the city, and the Carson Reclamation Authority, which was tasked with acquiring the site and overseeing its cleanup, failed to reinstate the agreement unless the developers came up with more money, according to a letter sent by Simon’s head of development, Mark Silvestri.

“The City of Carson and Carson Reclamation Authority have continually failed to meet their obligations, which caused us to terminate our pursuit of the project which was otherwise fully funded and had tremendous retailer demand,” Silvestri said in the letter.

The developers would not pay for carrying costs for the CRA as a condition of reinstating the agreement, according to the letter. 

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Simon and Macerich are now planning to resume litigation against the city and the CRA. 

“We are deeply disappointed that the city and the CRA have squandered the opportunity to develop a world-class retail center on this long-underutilized property, and wasted well over $100 million of its taxpayers’ money,” a spokesperson for the project said in an email. 

The city did not respond to a request for comment.

Simon and Macerich have previously alleged that the city of Carson and the CRA “failed to employ a project management and financial control process sufficient for a project of this magnitude,” according to a 2020 complaint filed with Los Angeles Superior Court. 

If the city could not complete the necessary remediation work and associated infrastructure, “the project would not be economically feasible,” according to the developers.

The developers agreed to pay certain advances — totaling tens of millions of dollars — after the city agreed to reimburse the project through sales tax revenues.