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ASHEVILLE, NC-Bedford, NY-based Symphony Property Group LLC has acquired the Biltmore Square Mall on Brevard Road for $20.5 million and plans to redevelop and reposition the property. The property was acquired in a joint venture with two locally based investment groups.

Joining Symphony in the deal were Swannanoa 750 Associates, which consists of Robert Deutsch, John Powell and Stanley Greenberg, and Rusty Pulliam and Richard Sandoval. The mall has a total of 500,000 sf but two of the anchor tenants, Dillard’s and Belk’s department stores, were not involved in the transaction. The amount of space acquired was 330,000 sf, Symphony Property Group managing member Eric Kaufman tells GlobeSt.com.

The mall was originally developed by DeBartolo Development in 1989 and opened in 1992. In 1998, Simon Property Group acquired DeBartolo. As part of Symphony’s plans to reposition the mall, clothing store Steve & Barry’s has signed a long-term lease to occupy more than 80,000 sf and act as a third anchor to the property. The site was previously occupied by Belk’s department store, which relocated to another part of the mall.

Symphony also plans to bring new food and restaurants to the mall and eventually construct a fourth anchor store and possibly a hotel. There is currently a Comfort Suites Hotel located at the mall and a Hampton Inn within close proximity. Symphony will be assisted in redevelopment efforts by Jones Lang LaSalle and Tremont Capital.

The mall was acquired at a price substantially below replacement cost, which is consistent with Symphony’s acquisition strategy. The Biltmore Square Mall is located in an area that has been experiencing growth, including the construction of several high-end residential developments. “We tend to look for properties that sell for $15 to $30 million that fly under the radar of larger firms,” Kaufman says. “Asheville is the type of place where we like to acquire properties. It’s not big, but it’s stable and there’s high growth there.”

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