published Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

CBL buying Chattanooga's Northgate Mall

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    Patrons enter Hixson's Northgate Mall in this file photo.
    Photo by Tim Barber.
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    Northgate Mall map

Chattanooga-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc. has agreed to buy Northgate Mall for $11.5 million in cash from General Growth Properties, officials said today.

CBL, which already owns Hamilton Place mall in the city, plans to revitalize Northgate, said Stephen Lebovitz, CBL’s chief executive.

Those plans may include the addition of junior anchor stores and restaurants and repurposing a nearby community center, he said.

“This transaction represents a unique and special opportunity for us to grow our presence in our hometown,” Lebovitz said.

Charles Lebovitz, CBL’s chairman, said officials are “very excited. It represents a good opportunity to recreate Northgate.”

While no particular stores were named, CBL officials said the company envisions creating a destination that will better serve the area north of the Tennessee River while complementing Hamilton Place mall's position as the dominant fashion outlet in the market.

Stephen Lebovitz said that since CBL was formed in 1978, the company has demonstrated its confidence in Chattanooga by investing in its growth.

“The acquisition of Northgate Mall is just another example of that commitment,” the company’s CEO said.

Northgate Mall has 823,000 square feet of enclosed space at Highway 153 and Hixson Pike. It was built in 1972 by Arlen Shopping Center and is currently 91 percent leased. CBL anticipates closing on the Northgate Mall deal by Oct. 6.

Chicago-based GGP acquired the mall in 2000, but GGP in 2009 filed for bankruptcy in one of the biggest commercial real estate collapses in U.S. history.

GGP, which emerged from bankruptcy last November, put Northgate Mall up for sale in an online auction this week, and CBL submitted the winning bid Wednesday.

CBL is one of the nation’s largest owners and developers of shopping centers and malls. It owns, holds interests in or manages 158 properties.

For full story, see Friday’s Times Free Press.

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about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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hcirehttae said...
  • oh, no -

I enjoy Northgate the way it is now, and I don't want to see it "Hamilton-Placed".

September 22, 2011 at 3:42 p.m.
ms1824706 said...

Great! The northgate mall and area needs a facelift...

September 22, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.
PaulWilson said...

Who didn't see that coming? If you didn't you're either blind or mentally impaired.

September 22, 2011 at 4:09 p.m.
mhbraganza said...

The last thing we need now is an expensively revamped shopping mall. Better to shut Northgate down and spend our money on more important things.

September 22, 2011 at 7:32 p.m.
heisenberg said...

Unbelievable! The real estate deal of the year in Chattanooga. That works out to less than $14 psf. The seller literally gave it away. CBL built it in the. 70s ( for a lot more than that!), sold it for a profit and 40 years later bought it for pennies on dollar. Sell or hold.. It's a winner. Proof that in times like these cash is truly king.

September 22, 2011 at 8:12 p.m.
mrguitarslinger said...

This is a great thing for the Northgate area. CBL is great at breathing new life into underperforming malls. Northgate is a great fit for their strategy, too. And, how could you not buy the mall you built in your hometown when you are as stable and liquid as CBL is. Those who think Hamilton Place is big need to get out more - wake up people, this is not Chattanooga 1981.

September 22, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
sweetdream20 said...

Well if I had a say in anything at all it would be to request that cbl/Northgate mall try to draw in local businesses who offer unique, non-mass produced, and/or handmade/green products. With prices that match with quality workmanship. Make it a touristy/marketing thing that's unique to the area, draws people away from the other already overcrowded areas and give them a nice appealing atmosphere. Keep on the big retailers ok but there's too much empty space in the smaller lots. We don't need another "mini-HP" Northgate does need a facelift but I think it will fail if they can't offer a genuinely different shopping experience than the same-old same-old you find at HP.

September 22, 2011 at 10:29 p.m.
Echo said...

hey sweetdream - get a clue. A mall exists only to sell mass produced crap to the masses, and the masses are asses. It's a crap-a-torium. None of your unwashed hippie dreamers are going to make anything that anyone with a dime wants to buy. However I'm sure CBL will cash your rent check so here are some FREE (I know how you green-niks like anything that is free) ideas for some stores that might appeal to people like you. 1. Patchouli Barn - a store for comfortable shoes. nudge-nudge. 2. WhiteeCoffee - Free Trade coffee picked by Ivy League investment bankers and lawyers. Only $280 a cup. Cream and sugar available at an additional charge. 3. TofuJulius - that just sounds like a winner. 4. Imaqueerbe and Bitch - clothing for people with ambiguous gender identity who will pay a lot to buy cheap clothing next to pictures of boys with none. 5. No Bed, No Bath and Beyond - fabulous "trashy-chic" decor for the homeless.


September 22, 2011 at 11:22 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

I think this is a good thing. HP is soooo big that I would drive to NG just to be able to find a close parking spot and a nice place to shop. The shops at HP are very nice but you have to park/walk a mile to see them plus HP has 2 floors to see/walk and at my age I can't do it anymore.

I hope NG doesn't make too big of a change. I understand adding some big dept. stores but just not so many.

September 23, 2011 at 11:36 a.m.
sweetdream20 said...

Pot calling the kettle black. "A mall exists only to sell mass produced crap to the masses" And that's why they fail so easily. Eastgate mall had nothing to offer that people couldn't just as easily find elsewhere. Northgate mall has struggled for years for the same exact reason. One of the few things that has kept it going IS because it is easier for people on one side of the river to travel to northgate instead of HP. Quality local made products beat the made in china 'trash' you'll find in any chain store, hands down. You're truly blind if you don't recognize the asset and the skill set that exists in our local population.

September 23, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.
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