After completing a full-scale renovation and bringing in a lineup of new stores, the owners of the Shops at Georgetown Park have put the mall up for sale.
One its owners, real estate titan Vornado Realty Trust, is getting out of the mall business to focus on office buildings. It also plans to sell the former Springfield Mall, now Springfield Town Center, for $465 million.
The last time Georgetown Park was for sale, it wasn’t in such good shape. Following a long and expensive dispute between two local developers that played out in court, the mall nearly ran into foreclosure and was purchased at auction in 2010 by Angelo, Gordon & Co., a New York private equity fund, which partnered with Vornado.
With its future in question, many of the stores had gone empty.
The new owners went about re-positioning the property for a set of chain and discount retailers that turned off many of the Georgetown faithful, particularly those who believe the neighborhood’s historic buildings and unique shops and restaurants set it apart from other neighborhoods and shopping corridors.
After pursuing but failing to land a Target store for the mall, Vornado signed a deal for an enormous TJ Maxx/Home Goods and another for Pinstripes, the bowling alley-restaurant-game room. DSW and Forever 21 also plan to open stores there this year.
The larger format stores are proving popular with shoppers and will likely pay the new owners handsome rent. But they replaced what was once space for dozens of smaller shops, many of them independently owned, leaving some corners of the neighborhood to wonder what might have been.
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