The sale was more of a technicality that had to be done in the case of the foreclosure.
Bradley Square Mall marketing manager Jennifer Sparrow said the mall is open for business as usual.
“The Mall is open for business as usual and there will not be any disruption to either our shoppers or tenants,” she said Monday afternoon. “The Mall is an important part of the community and we welcome all our shoppers to the mall.”
Attorney Joseph R. Prochaska, with the firm of Prochaska, Thompson, Quinn & Ferraro, in Nashville, said before the sale the mall is much more valuable open than it would be closed.
The debt was held by 2006-CIBC15 Lightstone Portfolio L.L.C. The limited liability corporation retained possession with an offering of $3.625 million. No details on the amount of debt were released.
Bidding started at $3.4 million with a bid made by a representative from the L.L.C.
Eric Spencer of Cleveland, fronting for another person, made a couple of cursory bids.
Garry Rodgers, principal broker of Rodgers Group, said it didn’t surprise him that no one stepped up and purchased the mall.
“Retail is still soft in the Cleveland market,” he said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see this. Rents are not where they were three years ago, and neither is purchasing activity, which is why you saw what went down today.”
Rodgers said he thinks there is a place for quality retail centers, but with malls historically struggling to survive in Cleveland, “You wonder if a mall of this type is the highest and best use for our city.”
The mall at 200 Paul Huff Parkway is the third indoor shopping center in the city since the Village Shopping Center opened in 1961 on the corner of Inman Street and South Lee Highway at the entrance to the center of downtown where stores such as JCPenney were located until the outward migration began. JCPenney moved from its downtown location on Oct. 11, 1975, and relocated to the Cleveland Mall on Keith Street. The store relocated to its current location in Bradley Square Mall on Feb. 13, 1991.
The two former mall locations have each found new life as the Village Green Town Center and the Campbell Center. The Village Shopping Center once housed major retail outlets including Parks-Belk retailers and a bowling alley. It was built and promoted for years by Jimmy Corn and his father, Col. James Corn.
The Village Shopping Center was purchased for $2.8 million by Allan Jones in August 1998. He renamed it the Village Green Town Center and transformed the 19-acre complex with a mix of retail and professional office space.
Keith Street Development Associates Limited Partnership, headed by Life Care Founder and Chairman Forrest L. Preston. bought the Cleveland Mall in August 1995 and renamed it The Campbell Center.
Bradley Square Mall recently went into receivership in early 2009 and continues to operate under Jones Lang LaSalle Retail as the primary leasing and managing agent.
“The silver lining for me today is that the mall is still going to operate without the closing of any stores,” Rodgers said. “There are jobs at stake here ... families’ lives are impacted through the employment of the retail sector. Hopefully, the national economy will begin to rebound soon.”