The Mall is actually 5 separate properties, not one. None of these properties are owned or operated by the city. The central "Mall" property, which includes leases on the restaurants (BJs, Smokey Bones, Olive Garden) and the cinemas, recently sold to new ownership. It's my understanding, that the leases of these outer buildings, along with the current tenants in the central mall space, continue to be a revenue generating investment for ownership; that's a good thing!
The additional properties (Sears, JC Penny, Macy's etc) are marketable independent of the central "Mall" itself, but clearly there's a relationship between all of them in everyone's best interests.
Our city has an economic development staff that market the value of our city to potential clients, and work to establish relationships between property owners and developers. We can't control the future of property the city does not own, but we can make certain to help introduce those willing to invest in our community to the opportunity to see what the future of the mall properties will become.