CBL & Associates Acquires Five Sears Stores, Two Sears Auto Centers for $72.5 Million

by Katie Sloan

Chattanooga, Tenn. — Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. has closed on a sale-leaseback transaction for five Sears department stores and two Sears Auto Centers located at CBL-owned malls for $72.5 million.

The five locations acquired include the Sears’ parcels at Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Brookfield Square in Brookfield, Wisconsin; Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Eastgate Mall in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Jefferson Mall in Louisville, Kentucky. The two acquired Sears Auto Centers are located at Northgate Mall in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Volusia Mall in Daytona, Florida.

Sears will continue to operate the department stores under new 10-year leases, with CBL receiving an aggregate base rent of approximately $5.1 million. CBL will have the right to terminate each Sears lease at any time — except for November through January — with six months’ advance notice.

In addition to CBL’s termination right, after a lock-out period of four years for the Sears store at Jefferson Mall, two years for the other four Sears stores and one-year for the two Sears Auto Centers, Sears may terminate each store lease upon six months’ notice. 

“We are pro-actively transforming our market-dominant shopping centers to meet the changing preferences of consumers,” says Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL & Associates. “This transaction provides CBL with the opportunity to redevelop prime real estate and attract exciting new uses at some of our best shopping centers.”

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