Amidst new store openings and efforts to revitalize Alton’s indoor mall, the owners of Alton Square Mall announced the property is up for sale.
NorthMarq Capital, which owns the mall (acquiring it from client and former mall owner Coyote Management in 2010, which used NorthMarq to obtain the loan in 2007), says it would be willing to sell the property for $2 million.
“It was appraised (in 2007) at $14 million,” NorthMarq Capital Senior Vice President Larry Stephenson said. “The appraiser told us when we were done with renovations and leasing it out to full occupancy it would be worth $34,975,000.
“Instead, the income went from about $1.2 million to today, it’s generously $120,000, so 10 percent of what it was.”
During a presentation to the City Council, John Breitinger of NorthMarq said Alton Square, open since 1978, is battling some large obstacles, including spending patterns (more people make online purchases than ever before), demographics, an aging structure (a new roof is needed, among other renovation needs), and location (Alton is “off the beaten path,” he said).
Advantages include a current below market rent structure and leasing opportunities.
He also said anchor stores Macy’s and JC Penney are crucial to the future success of the mall.
“It is really, really important not to have another departure,” he said. (Sears closed in 2012.)
Possibilities outside of traditional retail were discussed. Due to operating agreements between the property owners and the chains, who own the anchor store properties, an outlet mall would be a difficult transition.
“You have an opportunity here,” Breitinger said. “We have poured energy into this thing. We think this property can go either way.”