Will Fashion Mall in Plantation be put up for auction?

Fashion Mall in Plantation and attorney Glenn Moses
Fashion Mall in Plantation and attorney Glenn Moses

The Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for debtors of the long-vacant Fashion Mall in Plantation has filed a motion to conduct an auction of the property with an initial, or “stalking horse,” bid of $24 million.

“This property has been vacant for almost a decade,” said Glenn D. Moses,  a shareholder of law firm Genovese Joblove & Battista, which represents the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee.  “What we would like to have happen is a robust auction process over the coming weeks, which we believe will be in the best interests of all parties and creditors in this case.”

The Fashion Mall is an enclosed shopping center with about 828,000 square feet of leasable space on 32 acres of land at 321 North University Drive in Plantation.

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The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale will hold hearings Thursday on the motion for an auction of the Fashion Mall with the $24 million stalking horse bid, and on a competing motion to convert the Fashion Mall bankruptcy case from Chapter 7 to Chapter 11.

“There’s a motion to convert the case to a Chapter 11 proceeding that was filed by one of the shareholders [of the Fashion Mall]. If that motion is granted, then we will not have an auction,” Moses said.

Kenneth A. Welt, the Chapter 7 trustee for the debtors, signed an asset purchase agreement Jan. 27 under which 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 would 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 Welt filed.