Having opened in 2001, Willow Bend is one of the newest enclosed malls in the nation and serves a growing and affluent region. But traffic at the mall began declining prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Starwood defaulted on a loan for the property that came due with an unpaid balance of $67 million in 2019. Shortly thereafter, Willow Bend’s original $161 million loan was secured by the mall itself and two other malls in Michigan and Virginia.
Syracuse-based Spinoso Real Estate was founded by mall industry veteran Carmen Spinoso in 2009 with a mission to help banks, special servicers, and investors “navigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities” of enclosed shopping spaces.
Spinoso previously renovated Santa Fe Place in New Mexico, an 80’s-vintage mall that was re-tenanted with new choices in dining, entertainment, and big-box stores and claims to have increased occupancy by 68% and sales per sq. ft. by 50%.
At Moreno Valley Mall in California, Spinoso reported achieving an 80% rise in sales per sq. ft. and a 25% rise in occupancy—achieved primarily by signed Round1 to a 43,7000-sq. ft. second-floor space that had been vacant since 2007.