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Photo: Emilie Richardson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Mall of America official disclosed last week that lenders are likely going to take a 49% equity stake in the Bloomington megamall after the pandemic hampered its operations elsewhere.

Why it matters: Valued at $1.9 billion, MOA is perhaps the largest real estate asset and tourism driver in the state — and lenders are likely have a very large voice in what happens to its future.

  • "We have to wait and see if there is any impact [to Bloomington]," Bloomington Port Authority administrator Schane Rudlang told Nick. "We continue to monitor the situation."

How it happened: MOA owner Triple Five Group took out a $1.67 billion construction loan to build the American Dream Mall in New Jersey.

  • As collateral, Triple Five put up a stake in MOA and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada.
  • American Dream opened last March, but has been hampered by pandemic capacity restrictions, causing cashflow issues, Kurt Hagen, senior vice president of development for MOA, told Bloomington's city council.
  • Triple Five, he added, will lose hundred of millions of dollars by the time the pandemic is over.

More mall problems: MOA is similarly struggling with reduced capacity and 45 tenants have closed in the past year, said Jill Renslow, MOA's senior vice president of business development.

  • Triple Five missed mortgage payments early in the pandemic but worked out a deal with lenders in January.
  • Both mall officials and Bloomington city staff pushed the idea of asking for state approval for flexibility to use tax increment financing and liquor tax revenues to help boost Bloomington tourism.
  • City council members rejected the idea on a 4-3 vote, with some questioning why the city would use tax dollars for private projects.

This story first appeared in the Axios Twin Cities newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.

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Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Singer R. Kelly on Monday was found guilty of racketeering and eight counts of violating an anti-sex trafficking law, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Sexual misconduct allegations have surrounded R. Kelly's career, including a child sexual abuse image case in 2008 where he was acquitted. Multiple other victims have come forward to speak about the abuse in recent years.

German elections: After close result, jockeying to replace Merkel begins

Data: Preliminary results from German Federal Returning Officer; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Sunday’s elections, 10 seats ahead of the Christian Democrats (CDU), which failed to finish top for the first time in 16 years.

State of play: SPD leader Olaf Scholz has said he’ll seek to form a government, but so too has Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader.