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Main Street Mall sale under negotiation

A sale of the Main Street Mall appears to be under negotiation, another signal of a real estate comeback along the popular shopping, dining and entertainment strip.

A deal has not been finalized, but there has been speculation recently that a significant transaction on Main Street was imminent. The Main Street Mall is one of the largest buildings on the street, and a purchase would immediately make the new owner a key player on Main Street.

Details have not been made public. A spokesman for the prospective buyer late in the week declined to identify the person or firm that is interested but indicated it is not a local buyer.

Richard Lichtenstein, a Los Angeles-based spokesman for the prospective buyer, said the mall had not been put under contract by the end of the week.

Lichtenstein said it would be the first Park City purchase by the prospective buyer. The statement rules out the possibility that the buyer is Ken Abdalla, a developer who has amassed a patchwork of properties on Main Street and has started to redo the buildings.

"The discussions are preliminary. We hope to have something further to speak to in short order," Lichtenstein said, adding, "If we’re able to put the property under contract, I think the plans will speak to the opportunity better than I can at this time."

The Main Street Mall, a hulking building with a modern design that critics say looks out of place amid the historic streetscape, occupies a high-profile location on the 300 block of Main Street.

The building has lost tenants over the years, and some of the spaces remain vacant. The Main Street Mall over the last decade-plus has been seen as one of the street’s underperforming buildings.

Lichtenstein said the prospective buyer would redevelop the property. He did not discuss details. It is likely, though, that any buyer would pursue a significant redo, probably involving residential space in the upstairs floors and some sort of commercial square footage on the Main Street level.

Others have discussed that sort of redevelopment of the Main Street Mall in the past, but the ideas never materialized.

"It’s an underutilized piece of real estate on Main Street. The original concept hasn’t quite worked," he said.

A New York City firm called NS/CSE Finance LLC owns the building, according to Summit County property records. The building and the land it sits on are valued at nearly $6.2 million, according to the Summit County Assessor’s Office. The land accounts for a little more than half of the overall value.

The listed owner is tied to a parent firm called NorthStar Realty Finance Corp., based at the same New York City address.

An August filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicated NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. took title to a retail property in Park City sometime in the six-month period ending June 30. The property referred to in the filing is almost certainly the Main Street Mall. The filing indicated it took title through a transaction involving debt investment. It said the original loan balance was $10.7 million.

A NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. official did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.


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