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Real Estate - Commercial

Rouse REIT Offers To Buy Independence Mall

By Cece Nunn, posted Mar 3, 2017
Rouse Properties Acquisitions LLC has entered into a purchase agreement for Independence Mall in Wilmington. (File photo)
Independence Mall's potential buyer is named as Rouse Properties Acquisitions LLC in court documents.

Madison Marquette, the company that operates Independence Mall and the receiver in the mall's foreclosure case, entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Rouse Properties Acquisitions as of Feb. 16, the court documents state. The information is part of a motion seeking a judge's approval for the sale.

The documents do not include a sale price for the regional indoor shopping center at 3500 Oleander Drive in Wilmington.

Foreclosure proceedings on part of the mall, which opened in 1979 and was renovated in 2001, began in 2014 after Centro Independence LLC, owner of nearly 500,000 square feet of the property including the JC Penney wing, defaulted on a $110 million J.P. Morgan loan. 

A company spokesman for Rouse Properties Inc., a publicly traded (NYSE:RSE) real estate investment trust that owns and manages 35 regional malls and retail centers in 21 states, had no comment Friday about Independence Mall.

New York-based Rouse, a spin-off of General Growth Properties that is owned by affiliates of Brookfield Asset Management, owns two malls in North Carolina -- Greenville Mall in Greenville and Valley Hills Mall in Hickory, according to the firm's website. 

Officials with Madison Marquette have said they do not comment on the mall's financial information or leasing and sale negotiations. 

In October, the special servicer commentary in a report on the mall's loan by Trepp, a firm that maintains a database of securitized mortgages for the commercial real estate and banking industries, said a buyer had been identified and the deal is expected to close this quarter, pending court approval of the sales contract.

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