A planned buyer for the Nugget Mall has backed out of a $12.5 million deal, the Empire confirmed Thursday. The news puts the mall’s ownership in the hands of a creditor, its future uncertain.
The mall had struggled with a tenant vacancies and maintenance issues and had fallen into receivership, a legal process similar to bankruptcy. Court-appointed firm Resource Transition Consultants LLC took over the mall’s sale in 2015, according to court documents, and had received offers for the mall ranging from $10-$16 million.
The mall has well-known issues with plumbing and environmental cleanup from an old dry cleaners on the property. But the prospective buyer saw more work to be done than they expected, said Kevin Hanchett, who oversaw the sale for Resource Transition.
Aventine asked for a reduced price after concluding it would cost them $1 million to repave the mall parking lot. Resource Transition Consultants couldn’t reduce the price, Hanchett said, as the only money leftover from the sale was set aside to pay lending company Columbia Pacific Advisors.
“After his examination of the property, he determined it had a greater level of deferred maintenace than he was expecting,” Hanchett said. “He asked for a price reduction, which we couldn’t give him because we already were at the point that the only person receiving the proceeds was going to be a secured creditor. He rescinded his offer, and that has now left us with a situation where there’s no buyers on the horizon, and the lender obligation is due in full.”
Resource Transition Consultants offered Columbia Pacific Advisors two options: send the property into foreclosure, or accept a deed to the mall in lieu of payment. Columbia Pacific chose to take the deed to the property, Hanchett said.
“We asked them if they wanted us to continue to market the property or take it back, and they opted to take the property back,” Hanchett said.
Columbia Pacific was not able to comment immediately when reached Thursday morning. This article will be updated should more information become available.
The Nugget Mall’s previous owners, C.E. Loveless and Barclay Tollefson, started their joint venture Loveless/Tollefson Properties to develop the Nugget Mall in 1972, court records show. Tollefson died in 2014, according to a Seattle Times obituary. Loveless is also deceased, according to a tenant manager at the mall. Family members of the two founders now run the company.
• Contact reporter Kevin Gullufsen at 523-2228 and email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinGullufsen.