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Last of fee-owned Bon-Ton Stores to hit the selling block

Ten department stores properties formerly owned by The Bon-Ton Stores are being put up for sale.

Real estate advisory and brokerage firm A&G Realty Partners announced it will auction the 10 properties on Jan. 28 in New York. All bids for the bankruptcy auction, which centers on fee-owned properties in six states, are due Jan. 25. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. on Jan. 28 at the New York offices of sellers' counsel Jones Day LLP, 250 Vesey St., New York, N.Y., 10281.

With stores ranging in size from 45,000- to 165,000 sq. ft., the available assets (properties listed at end of article) include locations in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois. The stores were formerly operated under the Bergner's, Herberger's, Carson's, Younkers, Elder-Beerman and Bon-Ton banners. Three properties are located in the new Qualified Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, noted:

“We’re seeing massive interest in these incentives among high-net-worth investors and diverse real estate funds alike," said Emilio Amendola, co-president of A&G Realty Partners, Melville, N.Y. "They offer capital gains tax reductions of as high as 15 percent, and holding for a full 10 years can yield a capital gains tax deduction of 100 percent. On top of that, many Opportunity Zones nationwide are in gentrifying areas with strong growth potential."

In May 2018, A&G was retained to dispose all real estate assets of The Bon-Ton on behalf of a joint venture between Great American Group (a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial), Tiger Capital Group, and Bon-Ton's Second Lien Noteholders. The assets included seven ground leases, 194 leased locations and 23 fee-owned properties.

"To date, 13 fee-owned and seven leased properties have been successfully sold to storage users, developers/investors, fitness centers, a casino, home furnishings retailers, and healthcare users, to name a few," said Michael Jerbich, a Chicago-based principal at A&G. "The large-format spaces on auction here are rife for reinvention and repurposing, and the sale also represents a tremendous opportunity for market penetration in these areas."

The three formerly fee-owned Bon-Ton assets located within opportunity zones are:

The Younkers at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville, Iowa (98,458 sq. ft., one-story, 9.1-acre lot). Located in the Iowa Citymarket, one mile from the I-80/I-380 interchange, this Brookfield property draws from the 80,000-plus students and employees at the University of Iowa.

"In addition to a mix of traditional and big-box retailers, the mall's ability to pull from outside its trade area is enhanced by an ice arena and 10-screen cinema,” said Jerbich.

The Herberger's in downtown St. Cloud, Minn. (93,900 sq. ft., two stories, 1.33-acre lot). "The second floor of this income-producing building already has a Capital One facility with a long-term lease," noted Jerbich. "Finding a new use for this space is a top priority for St. Cloud economic development officials, which highlights the potential for public-private collaboration."

The Herberger's at Midway Marketplace in St. Paul, Minn. (124,136 sq. ft., two stories, 6.65-acre lot). "This property has light rail directly behind it and is a quarter mile from the $250 million Allianz Field soccer stadium now under development," Jerbich noted."

The other former Bon-Ton assets available at auction are:

The Younkers at Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines, Iowa (165,000 sq. ft., two stories, 7.81-acre lot);

The Carson's at Spring Hill Mall in Dundee Township, Ill. (128,000 sq. ft., two stories, 8.76-acre lot). The mall, owned by Rouse Properties, is in the midst of a $40 million renovation;

The Bergner's at White Oaks Mall in Springfield, Ill. (125,000 sq. ft., two stories, 1.2-acre lot);

The Elder-Beerman in Downtown Richmond, Ind. (100,000 sq. ft., two stories, 1.5-acre lot, freestanding);

The Younkers at River Towne Crossings in Grandville, Mich. (150,081 sq. ft., two stories, 9.94-acre lot);

The Younkers at The Lakes Mall in Muskegon, Mich. (106,131 sq. ft., one story, 9.7-acre lot); and

The Bon-Ton at Lewistown Mall in Lewistown, Pa. (46,660 sq. ft., one story, 0.83-acre lot, freestanding).
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