SALEM, OR-C.E. John Co. has acquired one of the few pieces of Lancaster Mall it doesn’t already own: the 100,000-sf Montgomery Ward’s building anchoring the northeast corner of the 650,000-sf development adjacent Interstate-5.

C.E. John’s development chief Mark Perniconi tells the vacant Montgomery Ward building will be renovated and likely filled with multiple users. Perniconi declined to detail the purchase price of the Ward’s building, and the price was not otherwise immediately available.

Vancouver, WA-based C.E. John owns the mall with Hummelt Development Co. under the name Lancaster Development Company. The duo is finishing up a $17 million makeover of the mall that includes a complete re-do of the interior and several new tenants, including Old Navy, for which a brand new exterior entrance was constructed.

The move follows an up grade of the competing Salem Center by owner J.P. Realty that brought in the Gap and the Disney Store, and California-based Craig Realty Group’s development of the 176-store Woodburn outlet mall along Interstate 5 between Portland and Salem.

Perniconi tells of another change coming at the mall as well: the 41,000-sf Rite Aid s being moved out of the mall and into a nearby, stand-alone building. The space will be backfilled in large part by Linens & Things, which has just signed a lease for 30,000-sf. Other new retailers at the mall include Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, Anchor Blue and Bath & Body.

Other C.E. John-owned retail properties include the 409,000-sf Beaverton Mall in Beaverton, OR, the newly expanded, 80,000-sf Salmon Creek Shopping Center in Vancouver and a recently completed 10,000-sf project at 39th Street and Sandy Boulevard in the Hollywood District of close-in Northeast Portland. The Hollywood project has been leased out to a high-grade Mexican fast food restaurant called Baja Fresh, a Radio Shack, a Subway sandwich shop and a couple of other tenants.

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