MASSENA If youve ever wanted to purchase a shopping mall, this may be your opportunity.
Carlyle Development Group, a New York City-based firm that owns St. Lawrence Centre, is putting up the mall for sale in an online auction beginning Dec. 9 and running through Dec. 11.
St. Lawrence Centre General Manager David Viola said the mall going up for auction isnt a big deal.
Theyre developers. Thats what they do, he said. Developers are always feeling out the market and seeing whats out there.
St. Lawrence Centre Marketing Manager Ronald J. Patnode said its not unusual for owners of such properties to put them up for auction, noting that doesnt necessarily mean the mall will be sold.
Its not uncommon for developers to put their properties up for sale to gauge the market and get a better idea of the value of their property, he said. Thats really all it is. Its an exercise to see what opportunities are out there.
The property is listed for sale at Auction.com, with the opening bid being $1,250,000.
According to the propertys listing on the site, the mall, which was built in 1990, contains 548,612 square feet of rentable area and as of Sept. 1 had a 61.5 percent occupancy. That number temporarily is boosted by seasonal tenants and will rise again with the anticipated opening of Dicks Sporting Goods sometime next year.
Assessor Michael C. Ward said the mall itself is assessed at $4,843,750, with St. Lawrence Centre arena being assessed for $406,250. The auction also includes McDonalds, which is assessed for $522,500, and Taco Bell, which is assessed for $314,700.
Thomas E. Dobrowski, managing director of Rockwood Real Estate Advisors, New York City, said the reserve price for the auction is north of $4 million, which would be well below the propertys total assessed value of $6,089,200. Mr. Ward said that figure also includes an access road assessed for $2,000.
Weve gotten a lot of interest in this parcel, Mr. Dobrowski said. Weve got more than 50 groups that have executed the confidentiality agreement. Theres been a great initial response.
He said the property is being marketed around the U.S., which is normal when dealing with commercial properties of that value.
The buyers of these assets are pretty nationally based, rather than locally based, he said.
According to the listing, property tours are available by appointment.
On the Web site, the mall is described as a strategically positioned, single-level enclosed regional mall with a gross leasable area of 548,612 square feet.
The description with the listing also includes the following details and information.
The property is strategically located along Route 37 in Massena, New York, approximately six miles south of the U.S./Canadian border crossing at Cornwall, Ontario.
...Additionally, Route 37 offers local access to Interstate 81, approximately 74 miles to the east. Given the moderate density of the area and lack of nearby competition, St. Lawrence Centre services a trade area of approximately 2,600 miles encompassing a population base of 222,000 residents including Canada.
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