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WENATCHEE, WA-The 339,725-sf Wenatchee Valley Mall has changed hands for $32.5 million, according to the listing brokerage firm, Faris Lee Investments. The new owner is Los Angeles-based Vintage Capital Group LLC, which is led by a group of former Westfield executives. The seller was Passco Cos. of Irvine, CA.

Fronting Valley Mall Parkway on the banks of the Columbia River in Central Washington, the 28-acre development is anchored by Macy’s, Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ross Dress for Less. Macy’s sits on the ground lease. The mall was 92% occupied at close of escrow.

The center was constructed in several phases. Sears and the northern portion of the mall were constructed in 1972, while the southern portion of the mall was added in 1978. In 2000, Macy’s, a Food Pavilion outparcel and Shari’s Restaurant were developed. In 2003, a Wells Fargo Bank pad and an in-line quick-service restaurant building were constructed. Other tenants include Bath & Body Works, Pac Sun, GNC, Foot Locker and Kay Jewelers.

The lead broker for both sides of the transaction, Faris Lee president Richard Walter says the buyer was required to place a substantial down payment on the center due to an existing CMBS loan that was assumed. The existing loan was for $25 million at an interest rate of 5.54%, which is below current rates.

“Faris Lee advised the buyer … that the assumption of the existing loan was critical to sell this property in a post-CMBS-meltdown market,” Walter says.

Faris Lee was faced with several marketing challenges with the mall, which traded for just under $96 per sf. In order to boost overall sales and attract more credit tenants with long-term leases to the tertiary market, the new buyer needed to be prepared to make substantial capital and branding improvements to the property.

“A value-add opportunity for an experienced investor,” he says.

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