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New Twist in Online Shopping: Buying a Mall

Auctions aren't a new thing for real estate. There are a number of firms that specialize in that sort of thing in the commercial real estate sector. However, I don't know if I've heard of any of the auctions being run through the Internet. It adds a whole new twist to the concept of online shopping. The sector overall is not a big fan of internet retailing. ICSC for years has tried to help push legislation enabling taxation of online sales to little avail. However, I think this is the kind of online shopping the industry might get behind. Business Week has the story about a shopping center being sold as part of a live internet auction of 50 properties.

Rolling Acres is going on the Internet auction block.

The mall, which closed in October, when electricity was shut off for nonpayment, will be one of 50 properties offered in a live Internet auction on May 1.

While the mall itself is closed, two remaining anchor stores, J.C. Penney Outlet and Sears, are open. A wholesale company uses the former Target building as a warehouse. None of the outside anchor stores, including the former Macy's building, are included in the auction.

The Web-based auction "really opens it up to national and international potential interested buyers," said SACS Consulting President Tim Dimoff, who has been managing the mall and negotiating sale prospects for years for ownership company Invest Commercial LLC in Beverly Hills.

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