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Pennsylvania mall under new ownership

The owners of a Pennsylvania mall and a property-management company in an adjacent state have finalized a contract for purchase of the 1 million-square foot mall.

The mall, in the Harrisburg East area, sits on 61 acres just off of Interstate 83. It opened in 1969, and about five years ago, it underwent a $60 million upgrade to both the interior and the exterior. It is 70 percent leased and has about 70 tenants, including dozens of national retailers.

The purchase is a joint venture between two ownership groups that have extensive experience in the property-management business. One of the owners has developed about 17 million square feet of properties, including retail space, in a handful of states. The other co-owner manages several shopping centers, malls and mixed-use projects.

The acquisition could be lucrative for the new owners. Both owners said the mall will complement their holdings. Currently, more than 350,000 people live within a 10-mile radius of the mall site. The average annual income per household in the neighborhood is about $73,000. It also is located near highways and sits in a growing commercial corridor.

A member of the county commission said the new ownership group could help to bring jobs to the area and provide a much-needed economic boost to the Harrisburg area.

One of the ownership companies has shown its willingness to spend money. It recently acquired a five-story office building and is putting $8 million toward a renovation that is expected to earn it energy-efficient certification.

Acquisitions such as this are complicated, but they can be made easier if the parties involved have the right advice.

Source: WHP-TV, "Harrisburg Mall acquired by Maryland managers," June 14, 2012

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