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Triangle Town Center heading for foreclosure with owners almost $100 million in debt

The run of hard luck for shopping malls in the Triangle continues, with North Raleigh’s Triangle Town Center heading for a foreclosure sale later this month.

The mall, which is managed and partly owned by CBL & Associates, will have a foreclosure sale on July 11, according to a public notice.

CBL & Associates — which recently sold Cary Towne Center for $31.5 million — owns the mall with New York-based DRA Advisors.

In 2016, DRA and CBL bought the mall for $174 million, with DRA Advisors becoming the new majority owner of the mall with a 90 percent stake and the remaining 10 percent owned by CBL, The News & Observer reported.

That purchase price included the assumption of $171 million in debt, which has evidently become too much for the group to pay off.

When DRA and CBL bought the mall, the group restructured the loan, moving its maturation date from December 2016 to December 2018. When the loan came due last year, the group defaulted on it, according to real estate data tracker TREPP.

The specific loans that are now delinquent are a $74.6 million note, which is back by 637,516 square feet of the 1.4 million-square-foot mall, and another $24.8 million in debt, TREPP reported.

It is unclear what this will mean for the mall’s long-term future, as that will be decided by a future owner. Current tenants include Belk, Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Dillard’s.

“Triangle Town Center will continue to operate as normal as we work with the lender to finalize the foreclosure,” CBL spokeswoman Stacey Keating said in an email.

Keating added that CBL expects to retain the leasing and management of the center.

DRA has not yet responded to a message about the foreclosure.

The public notice, posted in Tuesday’s edition of the N&O, shows that 70-plus acres of land at the mall will be part of the foreclosure sale. Another 43 acres in Franklin County is also included.

Malls across the Triangle have been targeted for redevelopment in recent months to compete with the changing ways consumers shop and the decline of several big-box retailers.

Several malls that have faced struggles in recent years are now under new ownership, such as Northgate Mall in Durham, which was on the brink of foreclosure, and University Place in Chapel Hill. Those new owners all have plans for redevelopment.

Earlier this year, an investment firm bought the former Morrisville Outlet Mall near Raleigh-Durham International Airport with plans to turn that property into a large office campus. The new owners of Cary Towne Center also want to add office and residential space to its property.

And even at the area’s more successful malls, like the Streets at Southpoint in Durham and Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, property owners are contemplating adding new uses to their properties, like apartments and office space.

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Zachery Eanes is the Innovate Raleigh reporter for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He covers technology, startups and main street businesses, biotechnology, and education issues related to those areas.
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