A&G Realty Completes Auction of Several Properties Formerly Owned by The Bon-Ton Stores

by Alex Tostado

Illinois, Iowa and Michigan — Real estate advisory and brokerage firm A&G Realty Partners has announced the results of its Jan. 28 bankruptcy auction of the final department store properties formerly owned by The Bon-Ton Stores Inc.

The stores, located in the Midwest, formerly operated under the Bergner’s, Carson’s, Younkers, Elder-Beerman and Bon-Ton names.

In Coralville, Iowa, a home furnishings retailer acquired the 98,458-square-foot Younkers at Coral Ridge Mall. Mall owner Abbell Associates purchased the 165,000-square-foot Younkers at Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines, Iowa. Brookfield Properties acquired the 128,000-square-foot Carson’s at Spring Hill Mall in Dundee Township, Illinois, as well as the 150,081-square-foot Younkers in Grandville, Michigan. Simon Property Group purchased the 125,000-square-foot Bergner’s at White Oaks Mall in Springfield, Illinois. In Indiana, the Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County purchased a 100,000-square-foot Elder-Beerman in Richmond. HOM Furniture acquired the 46,660-square-foot Bon-Ton at Lewistown Mall in Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Two Herberger’s stores in Minnesota were removed from the auction.

In late January and early March, A&G completed private sales on two other properties from the Bon-Ton portfolio. Dispositions included the former Younkers building at Miller Hill Mall in Duluth, Minnesota. Buyer Essentia Health plans to convert a portion of the 141,000-square-foot property into a fitness and therapy center. In Wilmette, Illinois, Newport Capital purchased the 155,000-square-foot Carson Pirie Scott store.

“Overall, this final auction proceeded as expected, with landlords buying back the bulk of the auctioned properties in a bid to take control of key sites on their properties,” says Emilio Amendola, co-president of A&G. “These anchor boxes typically have site control features. If the owner of the mall wants to embark on a redevelopment that will ramp up productivity, gaining control of the box is critical. Otherwise, you would have to ask the owner of that building for permission before your plans could proceed.”

In May 2018, A&G was retained to dispose of all real estate assets of Bon-Ton on behalf of a venture between Great American Group LLC, Tiger Capital Group LLC and Bon-Ton’s second-lien noteholders. The assets included seven ground leases, 194 leased locations and 23 fee-owned properties. To date, 20 fee-owned and seven leased properties have sold to landlords, storage users, developers, fitness centers, home furnishings retailers, healthcare users and a casino.

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