Mall for sale

(First published in the July 18, 2019 issue of City Pages)

Sources say Wausau Center mall’s owner, Rialto Capital, is contacting developers seeking a buyer


Sources say the selling price of Wausau Center mall is likely to be less than $5 million

Mall owner Rialto Capital is actively seeking a buyer for the Wausau Center mall, sources have confirmed to City Pages.

Rialto has put out an offering memorandum, which is a series of documents packaged for potential buyers for commercial real estate. The packet includes objectives, risks and terms of investment involved in a project.

Though the mall has always been basically for sale, since it is owned through receivership, the memorandum signals that the owners are very actively seeking buyers and offers are expected to come in. Speaking to City Pages on the condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the memorandum, a source confirmed the price is likely to be less than $5 million.

Wausau Center went into receivership after previous owner CBL no longer wanted to make payments. That came after city officials agreed to provide a loan to CBL to move Younkers into the JC Penney space, opening up that space for future retail. Instead, CBL gave the mall back to the bank and Rialto bought it at a sheriff’s sale. Yonkers eventually closed.

City officials have had trouble getting any information about future plans for the mall out of Rialto or management company mid-America. Recently the mall owners asked to have an audit requirement waived that calculated what the mall owed the city in profit sharing. City leaders tried to use that as leverage to learn of future plans but the mall’s owners were mum on any details.

The news comes weeks after HOM Furniture opened its doors in the former Yonkers site — once again giving the mall an anchor space. HOM and the empty city-owned Sears building are separate buildings from the mall and wouldn’t be included in a potential mall sale.

Rialto bought the Wausau Center mall through a foreclosure sale in 2017 for $12.8 million — less than the $18 million owed on it by CBL when it gave the mall back to the bank.