Mortgages may hold key to future of two shopping centers

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Good afternoon,

What’s next for Concord Mall and the Brandywine Town Center?

Mortgages may hold the key.

As reported this week, a Superior Court judge issued a ruling on one troubled mortgage in a complex package of financing for the Brandywine Town Center.

The decision clarifies issues related to one troubled mortgage that resulted in a number of lawsuits. The Town Center has other financings in place for the property owned by New York-based Arcadia. We still know little about other aspects of the financing package for the sprawling former racetrack property.

We have learned that the Concord Mall transaction involved the buying of a mortgage for the property by a new owner, rather than an outright sale.

Such mortgages are bought at a discount for second and third-tier malls with lower occupancy rates.

It gets complicated since the mortgages often involve interior space in the mall, with anchors – such as the Concord Mall Sears store – which is slated to close this spring, often under separate ownership.

The possibilities are many but could result in future ownership changes and redevelopment plans. Or things could stay in place for a while longer in the event that the retail environment sorts itself out.

It will add up to a lot of speculation and rumors in the coming months and years, driven by the so-called “retail apocalypse” that is touching even on sales tax-free Concord Pike.

Any thoughts pro or con? Let me know. Simply hit return and type away. If this newsletter was passed along,sign up here to get your own five-day-a-week email report at no charge. –Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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