Town and Country Shopping Center sells to Miami developer | New

A Miami investment firm that bills itself as focusing on “distressed residential and commercial projects” was the winning bidder to acquire the Town & Country mall in Springfield. Larkspur Properties is expected to complete the deal on June 24 after bidding for $5.77 million in a five-day online auction that ended May 24.

The auction for the 260,000-square-foot mall in blocks 2,300 to 2,500 of MacArthur Boulevard was handled by Ten-X on behalf of bondholders who own the center’s assets, according to Paul Barile, chief executive of Transwestern. , a company that assists in the sale of real estate.

“It was a good price for everyone,” Barile said, noting that Springfield’s first outlying mall, which opened in 1961, is 65% vacant.

Ward 7 Ald. Joe McMenamin said he was “very impressed” with Larkspur and walked the Town & Country site with Larkspur chairman David Bernstein two weeks ago.

The company’s website says the company has been in operation for 11 years, has six office workers and has $70 million in assets. Larkspur Properties states on its website that it operates primarily in the Florida markets and “identifies undervalued real estate using a micro-focused, bottom-up investment approach.”

Bernstein declined to comment when reached by phone.

Town & Country’s largest empty space, covering 65,000 square feet, had been occupied by Burlington Coat Factory, which moved in 2018 to the southeast corner of Veterans Parkway and Wabash Avenue.

McMenamin said Bernstein told him during their meeting that Larkspur planned to convert the former Burlington Coat Factory space into attractive, air-conditioned units for indoor storage. The storage rental industry is growing across the country, McMenamin said.

Steady revenue from storage can help fund other improvements the company is considering for the site, he said.

Larkspur appears to be “very convenient” and owns several properties in the Midwest, including a former Walmart that Larkspur converted into an indoor storage facility in Belleville, McMenamin said.

Larkspur says it wants to improve Town & Country’s parking lot, building facades and possibly build additional retail space in areas of the property currently used for parking, according to McMenamin.

The minimum bid in the Town & Country auction was $1.6 million; the property is listed on Sangamon County tax records with a fair market value of over $8 million.

Ten bidders participated in the auction, Barile said.

He said the sale would not disrupt the leases of existing tenants, including the Illinois State Board of Education, Dollar Tree, Citi Trends, Chuck E. Cheese, Tuesday Morning, Hibachi Grill Supreme Buffet and Underdog Sports, Memorabilia & Games.

The property was previously owned by a group of investors that included Springfield developer Corky Joyner and city attorney Jim Zerkle. Ownership was later transferred from Joyner and Zerkle’s limited liability company to JPMorgan Chase.

JP Morgan filed for foreclosure in 2019 when Joyner and Zerkle’s group failed to make required monthly payments on a loan.

Ownership eventually transferred from JPMorgan to a corporate representative for owners of business-backed securities, Barile said.

Edwin S. Wolfe