BET Investments buys Granite Run Mall for $24M

Posted: September 25, 2013

BET Investments, the real estate investment group owned by Toll Bros. cofounder Bruce E. Toll, plans "a walkable mixed-use project" at what is now Granite Run Mall after the firm's successful bid of $24 million for the shopping center near Media.

"We are very excited about the deal and its possibilities," said Michael Markman, president of BET Investments, in Horsham.

New York-based Rockwood Realty Advisors conducted the sale.

Banks represented by CW Capital Management foreclosed on Granite Run in 2011 after national mall owner Simon Property Group and partner Macerich Co. stopped paying interest on $115 million they had borrowed to buy the place, figuring it wasn't worth that much anymore.

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:

Acme Markets

AMC Theaters

Boscov's

Kohl's

JCPenney

Sears


Contact Joseph N. DiStefano at jdistefano@phillynews.com or 215-313-3124.

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