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CHICOPEE, MA-CBL and Associates Properties Inc. closed on its purchaseof the former Fairfield Mall site. The Chattanooga, TN-based shopping center developer bought the 23-acre property for $4.3 million from Fairfield Mall Limited Partnership.

Spaulding & Slye Colliers SVP Jim Koury represented the seller and procured the buyer in the transaction. According to Koury, the location of this site at the intersection of Route 33 and exit 5 of the Massachusetts Turnpike makes it “ideal for a retail power center.”

The Fairfield Mall was built in 1973 and was flanked by two shadow anchors, Bradlees and Caldor. The enclosed mall was renovated in 1987.When the Caldor store closed in 1998 and the Bradlees store shortly thereafter, plans began to redevelop the interior 220,000 sf portion of the mall as a strip power center. The anchors were re-leased to a mall’s interior was then demolished in 2003 for redevelopment as a 180,000-sf strip center which will be called the Chicopee Marketplace. The property is approximately 75% pre-leased to tenants such as Marshalls, Staples, I-Party and Sleepy’s.

Koury says that the property came under agreement with CBL over four years ago, after the seller had permitted the property for the 180,000-sf strip mall. At the time the mall was nearly fully vacant, and CBL spent the past four years pre-leasing the retail spaces for the center and negotiating easements with Wal-Mart and Home Depot, both of whom own their buildings. The previous mall was demolished last year.

Stephen D. Lebovitz, president of CBL & Associates Properties, notes,”Our shopping center pipeline continues to gain momentum with this latest development from the Boston regional office. Similar to other shopping centers we have completed in this region, we have been able to find a very unique and compelling development opportunity. With Chicopee Marketplace, we will be able to redevelop space between two of the strongest retail draws in this growing suburb of Springfield to offer area shoppers an attractive lineup of leading national and regional retailers.”

Other shopping centers recently developed by CBL’s Boston regional office include Waterford Commons in Waterford, CT, Wilkes-Barre Township Marketplace in Wilkes-Barre Township, PA and Charter Oak Marketplace in Hartford, CT.

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