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ShoppingTown Mall's New Owner:  'This is a Long-Term Play'

ShoppingTown Mall's New Owner: 'This is a Long-Term Play'

By Kevin Tampone

The Post-Standard

September 24, 2013



DEWITT, N.Y. - The new owner of ShoppingTown Mall plans to keep the property's focus squarely on retail.

"We want to stay a mall; a retail destination," said Steven Maksin, founder and CEO of Moonbeam Capital Investments, which bought ShoppingTown this month. "We're not building multi-family here."

Maksin and other members of Moonbeam's management team are in town this week for meetings with mall staff and tenants and local officials. Moonbeam, a Las Vegas-based private equity fund, won an online auction for ShoppingTown last month with a bid of $13.65 million.

The sale closed Sept. 20.

Details on plans for the mall's future won't emerge for months, said Shawl Pryor, senior vice president at Moonbeam.

In the meantime, the firm will work to make sure current tenants stay put, Maksin said.

"The mall is not being gutted," he said. "We're not leveling it. We're interested in keeping this a retail location."

Stephen Maksin.JPGMoonbeam CEO Steven Maksin speaks this afternoon at ShoppingTown Mall. Maksin and other members of Moonbeam's management team are in town this week for meetings. The company bought ShoppingTown earlier this month. 

ShoppingTown has been abandoned by numerous national retailers and other tenants in recent years. The property is about two-thirds leased and small local businesses now occupy large stretches of space there.

Moonbeam, based in Las Vegas, buys and redevelops distressed real estate across the nation. The firm owns seven other malls and 14 shopping plazas around the country.

It also owns office buildings, apartments and hotels, a total of about 50 properties nationwide. The firm manages more than 10 million square feet of space.

Moonbeam formed in 2011. Its main focus is on the retail sector, Maksin said.

And while the firm has been snapping up properties rapidly in the past two years, it hasn't sold anything, he added.

"This is not a flipping opportunity, the way we see it," he said. "This is a long-term play."

ShoppingTown ended up at auction after it entered foreclosure in 2011. Its previous owner, Macerich Co. of California, failed to make a $39 million payment that was due on the property.

Macerich (NYSE: MAC) bought ShoppingTown from Rochester-based Wilmorite in 2005 for $87.7 million. It was part of a package of 13 shopping centers Macerich acquired for more than $2 billion.

Macerich and Wilmorite both had plans to redevelop the property at one time, but neither company followed through.


Tampone, Kevin (24 September 2013), ShoppingTown Mall's New Owner:  'This is a Long-Term Play', The Post-Standard, (September 26, 2013),