REAL ESTATE

Bon-Ton properties hit the selling block

BY Marianne Wilson

Seven department store properties that were formerly owned by The Bon-Ton Stores are going up for auction.

Real estate advisory and brokerage firm A&G Realty Partners, Melville, New York, will auction the properties on Sept. 20, in Chicago. All bids for the auction, which centers on fee-owned properties in six states, are due Sept. 18. (Bon-Ton Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 4.)

The stores going on the block range in size from 46,000 sq. ft. to 150,000 sq. ft., and include two locations in Michigan as well as properties in Illinois, New York, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. They were formerly operated under the Carson’s, Younkers, Elder-Beerman and Bon-Ton banners.

A&G was retained in May to dispose all real estate assets of Bon-Ton Stores on behalf of a joint venture between Great American Group, Tiger Capital Group, LLC and Bon-Ton’s Second Lien Noteholders. The joint venture is currently concluding the liquidation of all merchandise inventories, store fixtures and other non-real estate assets.

A&G co-president Andy Graiser noted that while the company has sold leases to expanding retailers such as Raymour & Flanigan and ShopRite, the Bon-Ton real estate is also attracting a wide array of novel, non-retail users.

“In general, as mall owners repurpose vacant department store space, we’re seeing rising interest among non-traditional users such as family recreation and entertainment concepts, food halls, microbreweries or even hotels, offices, multi-family residential or storage facilities,” Graiser said.

The bankruptcy auction will begin at 10 a.m. on Sept. 20 at the Chicago offices of debtors’ counsel Jones Day LLP, 77 West Wacker Dr. The auction is contingent upon receipt of sufficient bids by the Sept. 18 bid deadline.

“This auction presents an exceptional opportunity for buyers to advance their real estate strategies with well located, high-visibility big-box sites that can work for single-users or be subdivided,” said Michael Jerbich, a Chicago-based principal at A&G.

Available at auction are:

• the Carson’s at Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee, Ill. (128,000 sq. ft.);
• the downtown Richmond, Ind., Elder-Beerman (100,000 sq. ft.);
• the Younkers at RiverTown Crossings in Grandville, Mich. (150,018 sq. ft.);
• the Bon-Ton at Lockport (N.Y.) Mall (82,000 sq. ft.);
• the Elder-Beerman at Colony Square Mall in Zanesville, Ohio (58,997 sq. ft.); and
• the Bon-Ton at Lewistown (Pa.) Mall (46,660 sq. ft.)
• the Younkers at The Lakes Mall in Muskegon, Mich. (106,131 sq.ft.)

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