Retail news

Large strip of Village at Sandhill sold

krupon@thestate.comSeptember 27, 2013 

People shop at the Village at Sandhill.

A large retail strip at the Village at Sandhill in Northeast Richland has been sold to a New York company.

The 171,160-square-foot strip, called Forum I, contains a Gold’s Gym and Ulta, among other businesses. The sale price was not clear late Friday. It was one of the first buildings to open in the sprawling lifestyle center and had trouble retaining tenants – particularly furniture retailers – during the Great Recession.

Developer Alan Kahn said he sold the building a couple of years ago. The new owner completed a sale of the building this month, according to a release from Auction.com, which brokered the sale. A spokesman for Auction.com said the company does not reveal sales prices for individual properties.

The new owner is Shottenstein real estate out of New York, according to Kahn. Efforts to reach Shottenstein late Friday were unsuccessful.

“They are a welcome addition to the Village,” Kahn said. “This sale was good for us.”

Kahn, a major shopping center developer along the East Coast, has fought foreclosure of portions of the Village at Sandhill, which he began developing shortly before the country was plunged into the Great Recession in 2007.

In 2010, he failed to pay county property taxes for parts of the development on time – blaming businesses that were slow to pay rent during the recession. Those taxes were paid in August that year, nearly seven months late.

The 73-year-old developer filed for bankruptcy protection this spring for himself and two of his companies after accumulating more than $50 million in debt during the recession. Neither Kahn Development Co. nor M.B. Kahn Construction Co. was involved in the bankruptcy filings.

He said the bankruptcy is running a normal course and he plans to exit as soon as possible.

“It will be resolved very satisfactorily in the normal time it takes to get through something like this,” he said.

Meanwhile, the building that was sold this month remains subject to the development’s operating agreement, Kahn said. He said he still provides services such as marketing, leasing, security and maintenance.

Kahn said he still owns the condominiums and the retail buildings underneath them in the “town center” portion of the development.

He also said he still owns or manages other buildings in the development.

Kahn said it is not unusual for him to sell developments as he did after he and a partner filled up what is now Columbia Place Mall on Two Notch Road.

“When I fill up a center, I eventually sell it,” he said. “We don’t own everything we develop. I have sold off gradually pieces of the Village as I go through the development cycle.”

Nothing else in the center currently is on the market, he said.

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