Chesapeake mall up for sale, again

Published 8:39 pm Saturday, August 12, 2017

Chesapeake Square Mall was recently put up for sale by the Loan and Asset Sales Group of Mission Capital Advisors.

The New York-based firm formally announced the sale on July 10 with an offer date set for Tuesday, according to Michael Britvan, a managing director with Mission Capital. He expected a close on the sale this September depending on buyer and seller needs.

Cathy Kurchinski, specialty leasing and marketing manager with Chesapeake Square property manager Jones Lang LaSalle, read a statement that confirmed the sale and emphasized that mall operations would continue as normal.

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“Any sale of the property will not affect the day to day operations of the shopping center,” according to the statement. “The community can rest assured that Chesapeake Square will continue to be open for business as usual, and we don’t expect any operational interruptions if and when a sale takes place.”

The sale offers 613,809 square feet of the mall’s 760,240 total square feet. The entire mall contains about 100 stores and a 10-unit food court. Among the stores in the offered spaces are Foot Locker, Bath and Body Works and Kay Jewelers.

Four of the mall’s six anchor spaces are included, which feature Burlington Coat Factory and J.C. Penney. The other two anchor spaces have been vacant since the loss of Macy’s in 2016 and Sears in 2015.

Target and Cinemark XD theater independently own and occupy the two anchor spaces that are not part of the sale. Britvan confirmed that Mission Capital is marketing the separate sale of the 12-screen movie theater, with offers due Aug. 31. Cinemark’s lease keeps the movie chain in the space through the end of 2026 with options to renew.

Britvan acknowledged that the mall has had “occupancy issues” in recent years. Along with Macy’s and Sears, the Gymboree Corporation announced the closure of hundreds of their stores nationwide, including its Chesapeake Square location. The Family Christian Store did the same in February.

The retail landscape overall has been in distress as consumers have gone toward online shopping and away from traditional malls, Britvan said.

“We’re cognizant of the fact that this is a distress situation,” he said. “This a property that’s been in decline with the loss of Macy’s and Sears.”

He did, however, express optimism for buyers that are interested repurposing the property. He praised the mall’s place in a retail corridor with upside for buyers that want to think outside of traditional mall designs.

“There is an opportunity to use this particular location and take advantage of the nearby demographics,” he said. “The demand drivers are certainly there, and those pieces allow someone looking at adaptive reuse to really get creative.”