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Oakland Mall may join Fairlane Town Center as second mall selling this month

A new owner is nearing a purchase of Oakland Mall, Crain’s has learned.

Mario Kiezi, a real estate investor and developer based in Troy, confirmed that he has the mall under contract for purchase for an undisclosed price. Letters have been sent to the mall’s tenants informing them of the pending ownership change.

Kiezi declined to discuss his plans for the mall until a deal has been finalized. The sale is expected to close this month, Kiezi said.

An email was sent Sunday morning to mall representatives seeking comment.

If it finalizes, it could be the second suburban mall to change hands in March. Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn is also expected to sell this month to unknown new ownership for an unknown price, Crain’s reported last week, after its existing owner fell behind on $161 million in commercial mortgage-backed securities debt secured by Fairlane and two other malls.

And it would be the most recent in the last several years, following the 2014 sales of Fairlane and The Mall at Partridge Creek in Clinton Township as part of a $1.4 billion deal; the 2019 sale of Lakeside Mall in Sterling Heights for $26.5 million; the 2018 sale of Eastland Center in Harper Woods for $3.125 million and then three years later its sale for $10.5 million to NorthPoint Development LLC; the sale of Northland Center in Southfield to Contour Companies LLC for $11.1 million in 2021; and the $3.7 million sale of Summit Place Mall in Waterford Township for $3.7 million in 2018.

Oakland Mall was built over the course of several years, opening in 1968.

The 1.5 million-square-foot mall sold in 2007 to Chicago-based Urban Retail Properties LLC, Crain’s reported at the time. Staff in the Troy assessing office said that 2007 sale was for close to $114.5 million.

The Macy’s store is owned by Federated Retail Holdings Inc. in Cincinnati, while the J. C. Penney store is owned by CTL Propco 1 LLC out of Jersey City, N.J. Kiezi said he bought the 407,000-square-foot former Sears store, which closed in the fall 2018, last year for $15 million.

Most recently, Kiezi’s investments have been centered in Detroit, where he was part of an ownership group that had owned the Park Avenue House building at 2305 Park Ave. after buying it for $13.5 million. The group also included MHS Group founder Mike Abdulnoor and L.A. Insurance founder Anthony Yousif. They had planned to turn the building into a $50.3 million, 172-room Hilton-branded Tapestry hotel but sold it last year to an affiliate of Sturgeon Bay Partners LLC, based in Detroit.

He also is part of the group that’s listed its former Union Street Detroit restaurant property for sale for $7.5 million, saying he’s testing the market after receiving unsolicited offers on the property which he had been envisioning as grocery store space.

In October, Baltimore-based private equity fund Continental Realty Corp. paid $34 million for the Oakland Center and Oakland Square retail properties totaling about 392,000 square feet across from Oakland Mall on the other side of John R.

Tenants in the 87 percent leased shopping center include TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, DSW, Michaels, and Planet Fitness, a press release at the time said.

According to data at the time from CoStar Group Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based real estate information service, the Troy retail market — which encompasses both the southern portion of the city and the northern portion — has retail assets valued at about $1.3 billion, with roughly 8.6 million square feet.

In the southern sector of the city, retail properties had a vacancy rate of 4.6 percent and lease rates of $30.33 per square foot per year, CoStar said, while in the northern portion of the city, vacancy rates were 4.8 percent and rents were $21.78 per square foot per year.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on March 7, 2022.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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