Before it went to auction, CW tried hiring Washington-based mall manager Madison Marquette, which ran the much-smaller Glen Eagle center on U.S. 202 in Chadds Ford, to recruit "high-end tenants" to add to Sears, Boscov's, JCPenney, Kohl's, an AMC theater, an Acme Market, and the smaller stores at Granite Run.
The mall is now 85 percent occupied, according to Markman.
Plans to build more than one million square feet of commercial and housing space at the former Franklin Mint site further north on Route 1 have sparked some opposition from residents and are on hold pending the outcome of a legal dispute between that site's would-be developers.
BET is one of a number of developers exploiting depressed suburban commercial real estate prices to bet on a revival.
The 2008 recession all but stopped office and retail construction in the surrounding counties, though apartment construction has revived.
In the last two years, BET has purchased a series of apartment and retail properties in the Philadelphia suburbs. Last week, the firm said it paid $4.68 million for the former Waterloo Gardens nursery in Exton, Chester County, and promised, as at Granite Run, a "mix of uses."
MAIN MALL TENANTS
The Granite Run Mall near Media is 85 percent occupied. Key tenants are:
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