Hagerstown Macy’s Building Sold To Valley Mall Owner

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — The owner of the Valley Mall outside of Hagerstown, Md., has purchased the former Macy’s building.

A landholding company for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust called PR Valley Anchor M- Limited Partnership, bought the shuttered Macy’s building attached to the Valley Mall for $2.5 million on April 7, according to a deed filed in Washington County.

The building was originally a Hecht’s department store that opened in 1999. Hecht’s was a Baltimore born retailer later owned by May Department Stores. Hecht’s and May Department Stores was acquired by Macy’s parent Federated Department Stores in 2005. The following year, Macy’s replaced Hecht’s name on its buildings, as it did with many other department stores it acquired.

The move gives the mall operator direct control over what goes into that space by being the sole owner. Sometimes malls can have messy relationships with shuttered anchors, with the anchors preferring to sell and market the property themselves to recapture some profit. That could cause a multi-year vacancy.

In March, the Washington County Board of Elections received approval from the Washington County Commissioners for a 20,000 square-foot space in the 120,000-square-foot building, according to a Herald-Mail report. That also shows that the former Macy’s will likely be carved out into multiple spaces for stores, offices and other uses.



Torrid, NTB File Building Permits for Valley Mall

160520_logoWASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — Trendy full-figure clothing store Torrid and car repair shop NTB have both filed building permits for new stores at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown, Md.

Torrid’s permit shows the store expects to have 10 employees and will go into the former CJ Banks space in the JC Penney wing. CJ Banks transformed into a Christopher and Banks a few doors down last year.

An opening date has not been announced. The store’s careers website shows Torrid is accepting applications for a manager, a full-time assistant manager, a part-time assistant manager and store associates.

Also, NTB has filed a site plan for a location along Valley Mall Road and Massey Boulevard for a spot beside Chuck-E-Cheese and Burger King.National_Tire_and_Battery_Logo.jpg

NTB, formerly known as National Tire and Battery, helps replace the shuttered Sears Auto Center where a BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will be built. Job openings have not been posted for the Hagerstown location.

Both store openings were first reported on this blog in May 2016.

Sarasota Area Media Follow-up on My Westfield Lawsuit Blog

UPDATE: Sometimes there’s an advantage to being late to the party.

The Herald-Tribune filed its version of the Westfield/Benderson/Dillard’s lawsuit on Thursday, which allowed the reporter to really avoid rehashing or going into the lawsuit much at all.

The reporter lucked out that a second operating agreement/easement appeared in the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s system to give the added detail that as many as three tenants could take up the former Dillard’s space.

Maggie Menderski reported that the easement document revealed that a Florida-based furniture store is expected to move in along with another mystery tenant:

Siesta Retail also is pursuing a lease with Naples-based Clive Daniel Home, according to the documents. The home store has a wide inventory of indoor and outdoor furniture as well as bedding, rugs, flooring and window treatments. Smaller items, such as placemats and throw pillows, also are available. The chain launched in 2011 and opened its second store in Boca Raton in February.

The home store is expected to occupy about 33,000 square feet, leaving about 26,000 square feet for a third, unnamed tenant.

As a footnote, it’s interesting to see the second easement being filed as the existence of an updated agreement/easement being filed was one of the issues in court.

Well, since Benderson had tenants lined up now it probably made sense to avoid further issues and write up a new one given the circumstances.

ORIGINAL: Sarasota, Fla., area media have followed up on my Monday blog about the Westfield/Benderson/Dillard’s lawsuit and uncovered a couple items.

(When shall I expect a check, Alex et. al? Or at least a bottle of Siesta Key Rum?)

The Bradenton Herald was first to run a brief Tuesday night, but the Observer managed to move the story forward Wednesday morning revealing that L.A. Fitness will go into that space and the rest will remain to be seen:

An L.A. Fitness will occupy a little less than half of the 96,000-square-foot space, and is scheduled to open in spring of 2017. The firm has applied for a $60,000 building permit for interior renovations to the property, according to city records.

“We are working on the remainder of the space,” Mathes said in an email.

So the excitement continues!

The City of Sarasota also shows its building permit applications online with notes but this one required a phone call and an email with at least the city or Mathes—whomever could respond first—to see what the permit was actually for. All the city’s permit site says is “former Dillard’s Building.”

Several other permits have been stuck in pending for awhile, ranging from recent applications for staging for the project, utilities relocation and tree removal. The biggie—building the first of the new wings—has been pending for over a year and according to a planner’s note from last week, will have a new permit number entered in now that work is anticipated to move forward.

So yes, now that the lawsuit disappeared, all of this can move forward.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune — the daily paper with the largest circulation and staff in the area — has not published anything on this as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, so if there’s anything more uncovered out of that paper’s report if they print something, I’ll add it here.

Westfield drops lawsuit against Benderson, Dillard’s in Sarasota mall redevelopment

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(This story is available for freelance opportunities.)

By Charles Schelle

A prolonged lawsuit has been dropped that kept the Westfield Southgate mall in Sarasota, Fla., from being fully redeveloped into Westfield Siesta Key.

Whether it was Dillard’s, Benderson Development’s or Westfield’s fault would have been determined in a jury trial if the case would have been allowed to proceed.

At the very least, the existence of a legal battle delayed redevelopment because why would Benderson Development, who owns the former Dillard’s, work with the operators of Southgate to redevelop that parcel as part of a mall redevelopment when they are being sued and might have had to pay damages if it lost a trial?

And if one of the arguments in a lawsuit is that all of this prevented redevelopment of Southgate from moving forward, it would play well that no matter what, Westfield not to proceed with the added wings and plaza during the lawsuit.

On Aug. 8, 2014, Westfield sued Benderson Development, Taubman Centers and Dillard’s, alleging that those three companies used inside knowledge to attract Dillard’s to build a new store in the also-new The Mall at University Town Center in northern Sarasota County.

Westfield argued in court documents that it was sharing redevelopment information with Dillard’s to expand their store and upgrade offerings with Southgate’s redevelopment to rebrand the mall into Westfield Siesta Key and played the company to instead close the store and go to the Mall at UTC, which is a joint project with Manatee County-based Benderson Development and Taubman.

And Westfield additionally argued that since the overall mall’s expansion was predicated on Dillard’s giving the OK, a withdrawal of consent stalled the continued redevelopment, according to Westfield’s complaint. Without that consent, the mall legally could not redevelop, Westfield argued.

“On April 21, 2014, Dillard sent a letter to the City’s Planning and Development Department purporting to withdraw the Consent of Owner it had already executed nearly five years earlier,” Westfield wrote in its complaint.

Westfield wrote in the complaint that it had restaurants and retailers ready for its new plaza and new retail spaces for expansion. Continue reading Westfield drops lawsuit against Benderson, Dillard’s in Sarasota mall redevelopment