Southlake Mall is 90 percent occupied, according to Vintage Real Estate, and has annual sales of more than $100 million.
Photo: Credit: Vintage Real Estate
Photo: Credit: Vintage Real Estate

Southlake Mall sold

Southlake Mall in Morrow, foreclosed on last year, was purchased Tuesday by a Los Angeles real estate company.

Vintage Real Estate, which has been buying malls across the country, plans to add more fashion retailers and restaurants, and will develop the building left empty by JCPenney in 2011, according to an emailed statement. The company will also work to bring in fashion retailers and popular restaurants, the statement said.

“We have the capital and experience to transform it into a thriving and popular destination for the Atlanta metro area,” Vintage chairman Fred Sands said in the statement.

Southlake is 90 percent occupied, according to Vintage, and has annual sales of more than $100 million.

The mall had been owned by General Growth Properties before it was foreclosed on. It was one of several troubled malls in metro Atlanta. Union Station Mall — formerly known as Shannon Mall — closed in 2010 and will be demolished to make way for a business park. Gwinnett Place Mall was foreclosed on in 2012 and is now under new ownership. Malls in Macon, Gainesville and Rome were foreclosed on in recent years and remain open.

About a third of metro Atlanta’s 17 malls are struggling, while another third thrives. The health of the area’s malls, in decline for years, is important because shopping is a huge draw for metro Atlanta’s $12 billion hospitality industry. Visitors to the area spent more than $1.7 billion in 2012, according to the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Vintage has purchased other malls in Boston, Oregon and California, the company said, and is adding a Burlington Coat Factory, a Hobby Lobby and a Fresh Market to its various properties. The company intends to acquire three to four malls or shopping centers each year. This is its first in Georgia. The terms of this deal were not disclosed.

Vintage said it has a “proven track record of turning around troubled shopping centers” and plans to make “significant” physical renovations to Southlake, which opened in 1976.

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