Sears Unit Buys Neshaminy Mall

Posted: December 28, 1990

Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem was sold Wednesday to the real estate development wing of Sears, Roebuck & Co. for more than $50 million.

Homart Development Co., of Chicago, bought the mall, which is anchored by Sears, The Bon Ton and Strawbridge & Clothier stores, from a limited partnership controlled by the Mutual of New York (MONY) insurance company.

"It was quite a chore to sell a major investment in this difficult economic climate. There are very few of these things happening nationally," said Samuel Switzenbaum, president of Strouse Greenberg & Co., the Philadelphia-based real estate company that had been managing the mall and represented MONY in the sale.

He said the mall sold for "in excess of $50 million."

Switzenbaum said the 900,000-square-foot mall, at the intersection of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and U.S. Route 1, was developed by the Korman Co. and Strouse Greenberg in 1968.

The mall was expanded in 1975, and a food court was added in 1989, Switzenbaum said.

He said Mutual of New York wanted to sell the mall because it was due for another renovation.

"It had reached a point in time where it needed another major redevelopment, and they didn't want to invest the money themselves," said Switzenbaum.

Larry Costello, a Homart executive in Chicago, said his firm planned in the next three years to spruce up the mall and add seats in the food court. Over the next six to 10 years, he said, Homart probably will consider increasing the mall's retail space.

Neshaminy Mall is Homart's first entry in the Philadelphia area. Homart, which has developed 70 malls and manages 24, is the commercial real estate development arm of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group, a member of the Sears

Financial Network.

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