A bankruptcy judge on Thursday granted a motion authorizing an auction of the vacant Fashion Mall in Plantation with an initial, or “stalking horse,” bid of $24 million.
Judge John K. Olson granted the auction motion filed by the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee representing debtors of the Fashion Mall, an enclosed shopping center with about 828,000 square feet of leaseable space on 32 acres of land at 321 North University Drive in Plantation.
The judge also denied a motion by the majority owner of the Fashion Mall property, Tangshan Ganglu Iron & Steel, to convert the bankruptcy case from Chapter 7 to a Chapter 11 reorganization.
“We applaud Judge [John K.] Olson’s decision,” Glenn D. Moses, a shareholder of law firm Genovese Joblove & Battista, which represents the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, said in a statement.
The Chapter 7 trustee, Kenneth A. Welt, “believes that the best way to maximize the value of the Fashion Mall property is to sell it through open and competitive market conditions,” Moses said. “If the motion to convert to Chapter 11 were granted, this would not be possible and contentious litigation likely would have ensued.”
The stalking horse bidder, Palm Beach Gardens-based Ram Realty, will pay $24 million for the Fashion Mall property, unless a superior bid emerges in an auction. Commercial real estate brokerage CBRE will solicit auction bids for the mall property on behalf of Welt.
If another entity outbids Ram Realty, Ram would receive a $200,0000 “break-up fee” under the court motion Judge Olson approved.