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SEGUIN, TX-After 1.5 years of off-market negotiations, a Dallas investment group has acquired the 126,564-sf Sequin Five Courts Mall from its eight-year owner. Retail properties in the Central Texas suburb are trading in the $3-million to $5-million range.

Gideon Interests Inc.’s latest acquisition is a 60%-leased, 1980s-era mall with a 40,000-sf empty junior anchor spot, Robert Ewers, senior vice president with Dallas-based Weitzman Group tells GlobeSt.com. Gideon president Stephen Schwartz made his first offer roughly 18 months ago with Fenway Partners LP of Dallas, but it was set aside for extended re-trade talks for the 12-acre holding at 1550 E. Court St., he says. By the time the deal closed, the mall was Fenway’s last retail asset in its portfolio, according to Ewers.

“It was a tough deal,” the deal’s sole broker stresses. “It’s Seguin, TX. It takes the right buyer, a guy with vision. In the long-run, we got everything done, but it was a slow-moving deal.”

Ewers, who’s been leasing the mall since Fenway bought it, says the plan of attack has been to slowly “de-mall it.” Bealls Department Stores Inc.’s decision two years ago to replace a 21,000-sf spot with a 30,000-sf store accounted for the lion’s share of the vacancy. Ewers says the rest of the open area resulted from a realignment of small shop space.

Gideon Interests will lease and manage the mall, which underwent an exterior renovation about two years ago. Ewers says the mall duties turned over with just a couple small leases at the bargaining table, setting up a changing of the guard with no rolls expected this year in the 17-tenant roster. “We feel good about them,” he says. “All anchors are secure.” A 10,000-sf Sears store shares the anchor spotlight with Bealls.

As the all-cash transaction moved toward closing, a Chinese Buffet operator signed for 8,000 sf, which is now under construction. The asset’s quoted rate ranges from $8 per sf to $14 per sf.

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