An international real estate firm has purchased the property at the Midtown Mall in Anchorage where Sears was once located, citing the potential for economic growth in a city that’s a growing global cargo hub.
Time Equities, based in New York City with property in North America and Europe, said in a statement earlier this month that the acquisition includes space occupied by Carrs Safeway, Guitar Center, Planet Fitness and Nordstrom Rack.
The purchase does not include the space occupied by REI on the mall’s west side, and several small businesses near the outdoor retailer, said Amber Russo, marketing director for the Midtown Mall. That area is owned by Denali Commercial and Carr Family Properties, Russo said.
The purchase only includes the former space once occupied by Sears, Russo said Friday. The retailer closed its store at the mall in 2018, the same year it declared bankruptcy.
Before Sears’ departure, the indoor shopping center that opened in 1968 had previously been known as The Mall at Sears.
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The $44 million acquisition by Time Equities also includes a second property in Anchorage, the former Sears warehouse building at 5900 Old Seward Highway a few miles south of the mall, Time Equities said in a statement. That building had been described by Sears as a repairs drop-off and service center.
The seller of both buildings was Seritage Growth Properties, the New York City-based company formed to sell the real estate portfolio acquired from Sears Holdings.
Ami Ziff, director of national retail for Time Equities, said in an email that a vacant second floor the company has acquired could potentially be turned into retail space or be put to some other use to attract more people to the mall.
The company said the mall has a high occupancy rate.
In its statement, Time Equities said the purchases are its first in Alaska. It cited the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, one of the world’s largest cargo hubs, as an important part of its interest in the properties.
The empty Sears warehouse sits on almost 8 acres and is just a few miles from the airport and the Port of Alaska, the company noted.
“We are eager to establish TEI’s presence within the Anchorage market, which serves as a strategic supply chain hub in the movement of goods worldwide,” Ziff said in the statement from Time Equities.