Las Vegas real estate investors buy ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt
By Mark Weiner
Syracuse.com Central New York
Washington -- After weeks of secrecy surrounding the buyer of ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt, U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer today identified the new owner as a Las Vegas private equity fund.
Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC, which buys and redevelops distressed real estate across the nation, submitted the winning bid of $13.65 million last month, Schumer said today, after the company reached out to his office.
Moonbeam officials did not immediately return calls today seeking to confirm the news, but the company already lists ShoppingTown on its website as one of the nine shopping malls in its portfolio.
The town of DeWitt turned to Schumer for help last year after the previous owner of the mall, LNR Property, was slow to respond to requests about its plans for redevelopment. The town and Onondaga County had feared the property would be allowed to deteriorate, diminishing its value for property tax purposes. The mall pays about $700,000 per year in town and county taxes.
Schumer said today that he urged Moonbeam to cooperate with DeWitt and Onondaga County officials to develop a long-term plan for the mall's redevelopment.
"I'm optimistic that a new owner for ShoppingTown means turning over a new leaf for the mall's development - and I urge Moonbeam Capital to start on a positive note and forge a close relationship with the DeWitt community," Schumer said in a statement.
"Simply put, the town of Dewitt should be at the table from Day One with the new mall owners to chart a course for mutual prosperity and success," Schumer said. "I am asking Moonbeam Capital to have an open, transparent and honest working relationship with the town of DeWitt, and I also plan to do anything I can in facilitating the redevelopment of this tax-revenue generating site."
At one of its shopping plazas, the company said it increased occupancy from 30 percent to 87 percent in seven months.
In addition to shopping malls, the fund owns office building, apartment buildings and hotels -- a total of about 50 properties in commercial and residential real estate.
Moonbeam was founded by Steven V. Maksin, who serves as the company's chief executive officer.
ShoppingTown ended up on the auction block Aug. 20 after entering foreclosure in 2011. The winning bidder was not identified by the mall's previous owner, LNR Property, which had the right to reject the winning bid.
The winning bidder had to come up with 10 percent of the purchase price immediately, and pay off the balance within 30 days. It was not immediately clear today if Moonbeam Capital Investments had paid the balance in full.
Weiner, M (2013, September 09), Las Vegas real restate investors buy ShoppingTown Mall in DeWitt, Syracuse.com, (September 23, 2013), http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/09/las_vegas_real_estate_investors_buy_shoppingtown_mall_in_dewitt.html