While the pandemic devastated many Chicago malls and retailers, Bricktown Square on the West Side averted disaster, with tenant occupancy holding at 94 percent at the end of 2020.
And with the city and state now having fully reopened, owner Bonnie Investment Group decided it was the right time to cash out of its 292,000-square-foot mall on North Narragansett Avenue, Crain’s reported.
California-based shopping center owner NewMark Merrill acquired Bricktown Square, financing the purchase with a $25.3 million loan, according to the report. The sale price was not disclosed.
A group led by Bonnie paid $27 million for the mall in 2004. It most recently refinanced the property with a $35.5 million mortgage in 2012. At the time, the mall was valued at about $48 million, Crain’s noted.
NewMark, which now owns four mall properties in Chicago, said it was looking at more acquisitions in the city. The firm will pay for minor improvements to Bricktown Square.
Other retail centers still need major help. In March, Washington Prime Group defaulted on its $47 million mortgage for Lincolnwood Town Center and in April, Simon Property Group still owed Cook County $11 million in property taxes on Woodfield Mall.
Still, the turnaround may be at hand. In April, the 200,000-square-foot Evanston Plaza in Evanston sold for $36.2 million, more than double its 2014 sale price, the report noted.
[Crain’s] — Joe Lovinger