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LIVONIA, MI-Konover South, a Simon Konover company and the former sole owner of the 500,000-sf Livonia Mall, has brought in partners Grand/Sakwa Properties and Lormax Stern for a redevelopment effort. The Boca Raton, FL-based firm purchased the struggling, mostly vacant 42-year-old mall in 2005 and had announced plans then for a turnaround, but now the partnership is going forward, as Livonia Phoenix LLC, in demolishing the enclosed mall and starting fresh.

The partnership has negotiated the quick termination of all tenants except Sears and Jo-Ann Fabrics. These stores will stay open while the rest of the mall is demolished. “We value Sears as a neighbor and we look forward to a successful relationship going forward,” a spokesman for the LLC said in a statement.

The spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that though the mall significantly declined since it’s heyday, the property is still in a great location for retail. “It’s a high-density area, with a very solid residential community and infrastructure, and tremendous access from local highways,” he says.

Plans for the redevelopment are not being announced yet, he says. “We haven’t determined what the development will be,” the spokesman says. “It’s very preliminary, but I can say we’re exploring numerous options. We’re not ruling out anything, but I doubt very highly that it will be another enclosed mall. I can’t put any timeframe on when a plan will be revealed.” He also refused to put a price tag on potential redevelopment costs. Partnership representatives are talking to prospective tenants at the ICSC convention in Las Vegas this week, he says.

Developer Jack Shenkman opened the mall in October 1964 with Sears and Kresge as anchor stores, joined in time by a movie theater, Mervyn’s, Montgomery Ward and Value City, which closed this past March. All but the Sears store are long vacant, as are most of the other 85 stores at the property at the corner of Seven Mile and Middlebelt roads. Schostak Corp., based in Southfield, was able to turn around the even-older Wonderland Center mall in the city, demolishing the 900,000-sf property and bringing in Wal-Mart and Target as anchors to the new Wonderland Village.

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