Glimcher Realty Trust sold the The Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe, Kansas for $20.5 million to a group of local investors. Normally, I wouldn't link to news of one-off mall sale. What makes the deal interesting is that, according to Glimcher, the REIT had a $30 million mortgage on the property. In other words, it sold the property for about two-thirds the mortgage value. One possible reason: According to the Kansas City Star story, the property is currently just 70 percent occupied. I wonder if this is indicative of the kind of distressed/opportunistic sales we're going to see more of as 2009 progresses.
Block said the new owners already are in talks with “entrepreneurial” local and regional retailers and restaurants to fill empty spaces and increase traffic at the mall, which is about 70 percent occupied. He said those businesses will be offered “reasonable” rental rates and short- to mid-term leases with relocation rights within the mall if they are successful.
National tenants are more interested in opening in 2010 to 2012, when the economy is expected to improve.
The new owners also are in talks with Olathe city officials about financial incentives for redevelopment. Block said the incentives are necessary to bring in “new and exciting and large retailers” that will set the mall apart from others in the area.