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Leominster mall sold for $82M; Chicago company buys Mall at Whitney Field.

Byline: Mary Jo Hill

LEOMINSTER - The Mall at Whitney Field has a new owner, after being sold for just under $82 million to a Chicago investment firm, according to information from the Registry of Deeds.

Walton Street Capital LLC of Chicago, which has invested about $3 billion in a variety of residential, commercial, industrial and retail properties, bought the property from Gregory Greenfield & Associates Ltd. of Atlanta, according to records.

The purchase price of $81.95 million includes the firm assuming a $74.75 mortgage, according to the deed, which was recorded Friday.

Walton Street Capital declined to comment about the purchase.

The mall was known as Searstown until the name was changed in 2004. Some people have found old habits hard to break, however, and still just call it Searstown.

The mall's value has steadily increased over time. Gregory Greenfield bought the mall in 2003 for $64.5 million from Kimco Realty Corp. of New Hyde Park, N.Y., according to a news release from that time. Gregory Greenfield specializes in buying and repositioning regional shopping malls. It has a portfolio of 17 regional shopping centers comprising 12.2 million square feet.

Kimco, which had owned the mall for a number of years, reported in 2003 that it gained $30 million on the sale of the mall.

The purchase includes the mall, as well as buildings housing Toys R Us and Circuit City, said Shelly A. Clark, marketing manager for Jones Lang LaSalle, which manages the mall and will continue to do so under the new owner.

There are more than 70 stores at The Mall at Whitney Field, and they were notified about the sale on the day it was sold, Ms. Clark said. The mall was built in 1967 and renovated in 2004. Ms. Clark said a news release about the sale is planned this week.

Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate services organization, currently manages more than 50 retail properties comprising approximately 32 million square feet.
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Title Annotation:BUSINESS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:May 17, 2007
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