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ATLANTA-Oak Brook, IL-based Banyan Strategic Realty Trust has extended the closing date on Northlake Tower Festival Mall in Tucker, GA to Sept. 30. The sale, announced on May 2 and originally set for July 17, has been extended five times.

West Coast Realty Investors Inc., a Delaware-registered corporation, offered $20.5 million for the center in May of this year. It is the only remaining property in Banyan’s portfolio, which once encompassed 27 shopping centers.

Rahway, NJ-based Denholtz Associates acquired the bulk of the portfolio for $185.25 million in May 2001, five months after Banyan adopted a plan of termination and liquidation. Northlake represents 9% of Banyan’s original portfolio.

The newest delay, like past ones, awaits the buyer’s ability to gain approvals from the required rating agencies, including the approval of General Electric Capital Corp. for the buyer’s assumption of $16.8 million in first mortgage debt on the property, according to a prepared statement from Banyan.

In addition, the unidentified owner of the land on which Northlake sits has not given formal consent to the transaction. Such consent is required for the closing.

This week, Banyan amended its agreement with West Coast, reducing the price by $110,000. In part, the reduction, according to the statement, represents compensation for “certain concessions that the purchaser may be required to make . . . under the ground lease, in order to obtain the ground lessor’s consent to the transaction.”

The reduced price was also offered in exchange for the buyer’s willingness to accept certain letters from Northlake tenants that West Coast contends are “not in acceptable form.”

The letters contend tenants can’t reverse terms they have already agreed to with the mall owner. Northlake, which was built in 1983, 1984, is 98% leased.

In May, Banyan received a $200,000 down payment from West Coast. However, if the buyer fails to obtain the required rating agency approvals and “other conditions . . . are not satisfied” by the extended closing date, according to Banyan’s latest statement, West Coast can terminate the contract without penalty.

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