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April 4, 2014

Vintage RE Purchases 1 MSF Mall in Atlanta Suburb

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Southlake Vintage Real Estate has acquired Southlake Mall, a 1 million-square-foot mall in the Atlanta suburb of Morrow, Ga.

The mall had been owned by General Growth Properties, but in 2007 the company placed $100 million of debt on the property and its lender foreclosed on the mall in February 2013.

“We’ve been looking in Atlanta. We don’t have any properties in the Southeast part of the country and this is a good piece of real estate and we can make it better,” Fred Sands, Vintage Real Estate’s chairman, told Commercial Property Executive. “We are very careful, we don’t overpay and when we find a good deal we do it.”

The mall is anchored by Macy’s, Sears and the city’s events venue, Morrow Center, and its tenants include national retailers such as Victoria’s Secret, American Eagle Outfitters, Footlocker, Helzberg Diamonds, Aeropostale, Bath and Body Works, Finish Line, New York & Co., Children’s Place, City Gear, DTLR, Kay Jewelers, rue21 and Express. It is currently 90 percent occupied.

According to Sands, Vintage has immediate plans for significant capital investments to bring in new tenants and restaurants and upgrade the common areas in Southlake Mall. It will also redevelop the adjacent 160,000-square-foot building vacated by JCPenney in 2011, which it is under contract to purchase.

“We’ll find another good anchor and put them in there and improve sales,” Sands said. “We plan to transform the space and bring in tenants currently missing from the mall’s ideal merchandising mix such as fashion retailers and popular restaurants.”

Located at 1000 Southlake Circle, Southlake Mall sits on 100 acres at the intersection of Interstate I-75 and Jonesboro Road/Mt. Zion Road, and is just 14 miles from downtown Atlanta and 11 miles from the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  It stands as the primary shopping destination in an established retail corridor that includes major national retailers, Costco, Home Depot, Burlington Coat Factory, AMC Cinemas 24, Best Buy, TJMaxx, Pet Smart, Old Navy, Barnes & Noble and Publix.

“It’s a very stable, solid area,” Sands added. “We will create an exciting new center court for fashion, food and fun.”

Vintage has been one of the most aggressive purchasers of regional malls in the nation over the last few years. Previously, it has acquired the 700,000-square-foot Mall at Whitney Field in Leominster Mass., in May 2013; the 407,000-square-foot Heritage Mall in Albany, Ore., in December 2012; and is renovating The Village at Nellie Gail Ranch, a 100,000-square-foot grocery anchored shopping center in Laguna Hills, Calif.

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