Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wrong Mall, Wrong Place, Wrong Time

by Bill McBride on 1/21/2009 03:03:00 PM

Imagine a home furnishing center - a "one-stop outlet for home remodelers" - built in Southern California at the end of the housing boom. Guess what happened ...

Jeff Collins at the O.C. Register has the story: O.C. furniture mall loses $63 million in value

The South Coast Home Furnishings Centre in Costa Mesa — conceived as a one-stop outlet for home remodelers — has lost customers, tenants and finally ended up in receivership after rents failed to cover loan payments and operating expenses.
The mall was almost 100% leased when it was sold to an investor in August 2007 for $98 million. Now almost half the tenants are gone:
The Home Furnishings Centre had 32 tenants, filling almost all of the available space, when it sold ... in August 2007. [The buyer] put $18 million down and borrowed $84 million to cover the balance of the purchase price.

As of December this year, tenants had fled, including the anchor: bankrupt Wickes Furniture. According to court records, just 18 tenants remained and 34% of the space was vacant.
The receiver just accepted a $35 million offer for the 300,000-square-foot center - a price decline of 64% in about 18 months.