Circle Centre gets boost to bottom line for first time since before pandemic

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Circle Centre Mall opened in 1995 and covers two full city blocks.

The ownership group behind Circle Centre Mall in 2022 saw its profit rise for the first time in four years, ahead of what’s expected to be an expansive revamp of the property in coming years.

The 28-year-old mall realized a profit of $4.29 million last year—nearly doubling its 2021 income figure of about $2.22 million, according to a report on the property’s operations filed with the city of Indianapolis.

The increase is the first since 2018, when Circle Centre had a profit of $13 million. The mall’s revenue largely comes from its tenants.

The struggling mall in the core of downtown Indianapolis has been managed by Chicago-based JLL since April 2021. The firm reduced operating expenses by nearly 9% year-over-year, the report from mall owner Circle Centre Development Co. said.

CCDC is a conglomeration of companies—originally 20—that contributed $75 million toward the mall’s $320 million original development cost in the early 1990s. It owns much of the 1 million-square-foot mall complex, while the city owns the property on which it is built.

In a letter to the city accompanying its results, CCDC said it is “proud to be a catalyst of the downtown Indianapolis economy and continues to be an active partner with several initiatives and projects focused on the customer experience and meeting consumer demand.”

Last year, CCDC committed to a “transformative” redevelopment of the mall, with design efforts now underway. A timeline for the redevelopment has not yet been made public.

The mall’s occupancy has waned significantly in recent years, dropping from 89.9% in 2019 to 60.7% at the end of 2022. In 2020 and 2021, its occupancy was 70.4% and 64.3%, respectively.

Not including the 144,000-square-foot former space for anchor tenant Carson Pirie Scott—which has been vacant since 2018—occupancy at the mall was 76.3% at the end of last year. That anchor tenant space was used multiple times throughout 2022, including for a private event tied to the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Of the mall’s nearly 457,000 square feet of non-anchor leasable space, 323,144 square feet was occupied in 2022, a drop of 6.6% from the year prior.

The number of stores at the mall—which in addition to retail refers to restaurants, in-house operators and other tenants—was 69 at in 2022, a drop of 34% from the 105 stores open in 2021. Circle Centre had 97 stores in 2019.

Seven tenants opened their doors at the mall in 2022, including co-working company CoHatch, retailer Daily Thread and restaurant Sugar Factory.

Total revenue for the mall was about $16.8 million, an uptick of about 15% from $14.6 million in 2021. However, the mall’s revenue is still well short of pre-pandemic levels. It reported $22 million in revenue at the end of 2019.

“While not without challenges in the current environment, the property’s 2022 operating results demonstrate its resiliency in driving value for all stakeholders,” CCDC said in its report to the city.

Circle Centre paid nearly $9.17 million to government entities through taxes and garage revenue in 2022, including $1.45 million in property tax, $4.73 million in sales tax and $1.04 million in food and beverage tax. It also paid $1.9 million in revenue to the city from operations of the garage at 121 W. Maryland St.

The mall is expected to bring in $39.5 million in revenue from non-cancelable lease payments through 2028, with another $9 million expected in the years thereafter.

Representatives for Circle Centre Development Co. declined through a spokesperson to answer specific questions about the report.

Adam Collins, an attorney for Indianapolis-based Wallack Somers & Haas who represents CCDC, commented via text: “This is a testament that Circle Centre’s location is incredibly desirable, because it sits at the intersection of downtown commerce.”

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11 thoughts on “Circle Centre gets boost to bottom line for first time since before pandemic

    1. Because it is privately owned, and therefore not exempt from paying taxes.

  1. The location being desirable has never been the issue. It’s the crime, panhandlers, drug dealers and homeless who are allowed to hangout in or around it and harass that’s the issue. Fix that problem and then you can make it condos/apts with retail as well. This downtown needs indoor shopping for leisure and essential needs. There is a reason that tjmaxx is crowded , especially on inclement days. However, no one will come when people are allowed to steal from them without repercussion.

  2. Make the mall a casino and shopping similar to other casinos in the State. This definitely would bring people downtown. The mall currently is such a waste for a prime location in downtown. So much potential.

    1. I remember years ago residents begging the city turned into a Casino and
      exhibits area.
      The city really needs to consider it.

    2. Yeah. Been saying casino for a long time. Would really be the highest and best use. And a significant amount of the money gambled would be out of state money.

    1. Kevin P.

      Completely agree.
      I’ve been too downtown Nashville.
      The things to do and the exhibits is amazing.
      There are things that we could do here to offer convention goers.
      Indianapolis needs to steal ideas!
      It’s done all the time in the world of marketing.

      The city should offer a trolly service to take people to and from exhibits, events,
      and the entertainment districts.

  3. As long as this city continues to elect people who have little interest in changing the appearance of downtown landscape, it will continue to flounder!
    Landscape is euphemism for crime.

  4. It is completely inexcusable for this prime real estate to sit in shambles in the center of downtown Indianapolis. It is a slap in the face to every convention goer who comes here from out of town and may have a few minutes to spare and wants to shop a bit. There is no downtown Mall! Outrageous! I have to park in the mall parking every day for work and more often than not it looks like a homeless convention. Super scary and so unattractive.

    Our airport is beautiful and our downtown is a wreck. So sad, I’ve lived here 20 years, never seen it so deteriorated. What a shame.