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New Midland Mall owner plans to bring movie theater, national retailers

After going through foreclosure, the Midland Mall has a new owner who hopes some creative ideas can bring a resurgence of business to the 27-year-old property.

Kohan Retail Investment, based in Great Neck, New York, closed on the mall property at 6800 Eastman Ave. on Thursday, June 28, for $9.4 million, the firm’s founder Michael Kohan told MLive. The deal comes nearly two years after CBL and Associates Properties, the mall’s former owner, went into foreclosure after defaulting on a $31.9 million loan.

“I think it’s a big opportunity,” Kohan said. “Midland is an exceptional town with a strong economy. The property is in a good commercial area and I think there’s a lot of value there.”

Success, however, hinges on replacing empty anchor stores with national retailers, entertainment options and even residential apartments, Kohan said.

“There are countless options for those spaces,” he said.

Despite NCG Midland Cinemas located only a half-mile away from the mall, Kohan said he wants to bring an “updated” movie theatre to the mall property.

“The movie theatre is a top priority,” he said.

He has a meeting this month to discuss other options for the mall, including a gym, apartments and more retailers.

“If you have apartments 100 feet from the mall, where are those residents going to go? They’ll go to the mall,” Kohan said.

The mall, which opened in 1991, is home to less than 50 retailers today, according to its website. Anchor stores Sears and JCPenney closed in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Younkers, located on the north end of the building, closes in August after its parent company Bon-Ton Stores filed for bankruptcy.

“That whole mall area is a very important section of the city, in terms of economic development,” said Midland City Manager Brad Kaye. “Prosperity for that area is important for the economy of the city and the surrounding property values — so it’s something we’re always concerned about.

“We look forward to working with the new owners.”

Kohan’s firm owns and operates 24 malls across the country, including The Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

Kohan said his firm is retaining Shawn Weiss as the mall’s general manager.


Posted By: mlive on July 2, 2018.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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