As Eileen Dallabrida pointed out in a piece for Delaware Public Media and in a story in Delaware Business Times , the mortgage for the Concord Mall was snapped up by Namdar, an investment vehicle that specializes in C-class malls. Such mortgages are often purchased at far less than face value.
Concord has long been considered a B-class mall, behind Christiana Mall, but seems to be slipping into the C category as the vacancy rate rises and Sears continues to close stores. The Concord Mall Sears store has hung around longer than most expected
As Eileen noted, a landlord can make a living with a B or C mall by charging low rents that attract owners and by not doing a major upgrade. Some work is needed since roof leaks have been reported. The property can also be flipped to a redevelopment firm, often at a profit.
None of this is good news for Brandywine Hundred. These days, open-air lifestyle centers, are the way to go. Former Concord Mall owner Allied Retail Properties went that route with the Christiana Fashion Center near Christiana mall.
Concord Mall would need at minimum a partial demolition and the long and narrow tract limits its options.
On the plus side, Concord Pike/Route 202 remains a popular shopping destination, due to the lack of a sales tax in Delaware and the area’s favorable demographics.
Brandywine Hundred already has the Brandywine Town Center, which was seen at one point as an upscale replacement for Concord Mall, with coveted retailers like Nordstrom.
It never happened, with the complex becoming a hodge-podge of big boxes and a movie theater. Much of the interior became office space, with a revolving door of tenants.
A lack of vision by the developer and a divided community that did not know what it wanted led to the current situation.
In spirited discussions on the future direction of Concord Pike, the next chapter for the former racetrack remains a question mark. You can add Concord Mall to the list.
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