ELYRIA — The former Sears and Sears Auto Center stores at Midway Mall have sold for more than $2.5 million, apparently to a real estate development company headquartered in Cuyahoga County.
Sears Roebuck and Co. sold the properties it owned at 4900, 4950 and 6935 Midway Mall for a total of $2.55 million to Industrial Commercial Properties, a Solon-based real estate development company doing business as Elyria Midway Mall LLC, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Lorain County Auditor’s Office.
The properties included in the sale are the 115,000-square foot former Sears store attached to Midway Mall, an outparcel containing the former 22,000-square foot Sears Auto Center and the 8,500-square foot Red Lobster restaurant adjacent to Midway Boulevard.
Only Red Lobster remains open, as Sears closed its doors in September 2017.
No one at Industrial Commercial Properties could be reached for comment Tuesday, but Mayor Holly Brinda said city officials already have had conversations with the company’s owner, Christopher Semarjian.
“They’ve at least reached out to the city and asked for our input,” she said. “We’ve shared our redevelopment plan and hope to continue our conversations with them.”
Industrial Commercial Properties specializes “in commercial and industrial rehabilitation, build-to-suits and economic redevelopment,” and was one of the parties responsible for helping to bring an Amazon fulfillment center to North Randall, according to its website.
The company boasts a portfolio consisting of more than 40 million square feet of industrial and commercial space in four states, worth more than $1.1 billion, according to its website.
A significant portion of the Midway Mall property belongs to the Namdar Realty Group of New York, which bought it for $4.5 million in mid-2017. Lorain County property records show the owners operating as Elyria Realty and Midway Nassim LLC, under managing members Igal Namdar and Elliot Nassim.
According to a June Reuters story titled “Who is making money from struggling U.S. malls?” Nassim is Namdar’s wife’s cousin, and the two men started buying up malls in the U.S. in 2012. At the time the story was published, they owned 14 malls and shopping centers in Ohio.
Midway Mall has undergone multiple changes of ownership in recent years, and weathered closings of three of its anchor stores in the last 12 years, and a fourth is shutting down this year.
J.C. Penney announced earlier this month that its store at Midway Mall will close on July 5. Prior to Sears closing in 2017, Macy’s closed in 2016 and Dillard’s in 2007.
At one time owned by the Jacobs Group of Cleveland, Midway Mall was sold in 2001 to The Westfield Group and renamed Westfield Midway. Westfield then sold the mall to Centro Properties Group in 2006, which changed the name back to Midway Mall.
Namdar bought the mall in an online auction in July 2017. Since then, the city of Elyria has been in talks with the company regarding the redevelopment of the mall into a mixed-use commercial area with regional businesses, office space and possible residential options.
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