Critics say Jennings mayor drove away business from old River Roads Mall lot

JENNINGS, MO (KPLR) - Officials all over the St. Louis area are trying to decide what to do about dead and dying malls.

The Former River Roads Mall in Jennings is one of the them.  There are acres of vacant land where the mall used to be.

The city says it's on the way to solving the problem with new housing going in.

It also said it's roped a business to build on the land. Ruler Foods a division of Kroger had plans for a store on the old abandoned mall property.  It wanted to build a steel building to save money.

The previous Mayor and her administration agreed.

But the New Mayor Francine Dugger came in and demanded a brick and mortar store that would look better.

The city told me that Ruler was just shifting the date for the store opening to 2018 from 2017.

But it got a lot more serious.

Dugger backed out of the deal altogether with a spokesman for the company saying there are no plans for any construction.

Critics of the Mayor and her administration say they pushed too hard and lost what could have been a good deal for the vacant land.