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Ogden is near sale of mall, mayor says

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OGDEN (AP) -- The Ogden City Mall is on the verge of being sold, according to Mayor Glenn Mecham.

Mecham said a deal could come as early as this week if the final snag holding up the sale -- the mall's unpaid parking garage -- can be resolved.KeyCorp, the bank that financed the construction of the garage, wants a guarantee of repayment from a North Carolina businessman who has agreed to buy the mall from Connecticut-based CIGNA, an insurance company.

KeyCorp's demand has led to intense negotiations over the size and kind of financial guarantee, Mecham said.

Mecham said the buyer, who has not been publicly identified, needs an agreement with KeyCorp that leaves him with enough cash to improve the mall and attract tenants.

Mecham has been a go-between in the sale since the city also has a financial interest in the parking garage.

A telephone conference call planned for early this week could result in a final agreement, the mayor said.

"Everything is pointing to that," he said. "I'm confident."

The sale of the mall originally was supposed to conclude in October. CIGNA and the buyer have agreed on a price and terms for sale last June and a down payment was made. But the hangup has been the adjacent parking garage.

CIGNA took over ownership of the mall in 1996 after the Hahn Co. defaulted on payments.

But things haven't gone well for CIGNA, which lost the Nordstrom store last January and nine smaller tenants since then.