Why Maplewood Mall Is No Longer Up For Auction
Exterior shot of the Maplewood Mall melissamn / Shutterstock.com

Why Maplewood Mall Is No Longer Up For Auction

It had been listed to go to auction in February, but Ben Hamd with Brookwood Capital Advisors had other ideas for the suburban mall.

The Maplewood Mall is no longer on the market after one of two ownership partners bought out the other.

In January, Ben Hamd with Nashville-based Brookwood Capital Advisors—the mall’s current owner—paid a company partner $15 million for his half of the property only a few weeks before it was set to go to auction.

The property was slated to head to auction in February. However, now that Amd has full ownership, he told TCB he plans to keep the mall.

“It’s something that I would rather sit on and hold, and then sell and then go try to find something else,” Hamd said, noting he believes the property is worth keeping because of its nearly full occupancy and yearly profit margin.

Brookwood, a retail development company, bought the mall in June for $27.5 million from Simon Property Group, a spinoff of Washington Prime Group which filed for bankruptcy in 2021. In December, a Brookwood representative told TCB the company rarely holds assets for very long and instead focuses on either filling vacant leasing space or redeveloping space before putting a property back on the market.

“That’s still the case, just not the case with [Maplewood Mall] because it’s so big and it makes so much money that it’s hard to replace this income somewhere else,” Hamd said, noting just about 20% to 30% of properties bought through Brookwood he deems worth keeping. While Brookwood has bought and sold other properties in Minnesota in the past, Maplewood is its only current property in the state.

While the prevailing sentiment by many is that malls are struggling, Hamd said he doesn’t believe that’s always the case.

“We’ve been able to maintain malls because we have a growing economy,” Hamd said. “Any market with a growing economy needs places to shop, needs places to eat, needs places to buy stuff. It doesn’t hurt that it’s cold six months out of the year so malls are, in the winter, kind of a necessity in my opinion.”

Even outdoor shopping malls appear to be faring well. Late last week, the Star Tribune reported that vacancy rates in outdoor shopping centers and strip malls remains low in Minnesota and across the nation.

Brookwood only owns the center parcel of the mall space. It does not own the surrounding Macy’s, Kohl’s, JCPenney, and Sears spaces.

Seritage Growth Properties, owner of the Sears property, placed the vacant parcel on the market in November.