Columbus patches Fair Oaks Mall budget after tenant loss

Columbus is patching a hole in its budget for Fair Oaks Mall after COVID-19 related workplace changes affected Cummins plans.

Jamie Brinegar, the city’s director of finance, explained at this week’s City Council meeting that the company has been one of the major tenants at the mall, turning the former Goody’s store into spillover office space for its workers.

But Cummins declined to renew its lease on January 30th, Brinegar said. The loss of the tenant means an expected loss of up to $225,000 thousand dollars in revenue, Brinegar said. Because of the 75/25 cost-sharing arrangement the city has with its partner in the mall, Columbus Regional Hospital, that will mean a hit to the city of about $150,000 thousand dollars, Brinegar said.

Mary Ferdon, director of administration for the city, said the city is actively trying to find new tenants for mall spaces to offset the loss of Cummins.

Columbus City Council approved the additional appropriation as part of a package of COVID-19 related budget changes this week. The money will come from economic development income tax revenues.