Second Chance for a Gwinnett Shopping Mall?

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Ten years ago, an expert on the retail side of commercial real estate expressed concerns about the “over-retailing” of Atlanta suburbs – especially for Gwinnett County. Through the 80s and 90s, Gwinnett Place Mall was the shining beacon of shopping for Gwinnett County as it grew in population and popularity. Then, around 2000, two more malls went up within 10 miles for Gwinnett Place (The Mall of Georgia and Discover Mills). The expert indicated even then that not all of these malls could prosper and that one would end up hurting.

He was more than right. In fact, two of those three Gwinnett County malls have faced financial difficulties since the economy’s downturn in 2008. Discover Mills, now called Sugarloaf Mills, has changed hands several times in the past few years and has faced its share of financial hardships. Gwinnett Place Mall was foreclosed on in 2012 by C-III Asset Management for $39 million.

It’s been reported that Moonbeam Capital Investments, which has a history of taking struggling shopping complexes and injecting new life into them, has struck a deal with the special servicer to purchase Gwinnett Place. The purchase price has not yet been disclosed. Most expect Macy’s, Sears, and Mega Mart to remain anchors.

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