Outlet mall changes hands

Published on Thu, Jun 20, 2002 by Christine Callan

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Outlet mall changes hands

By Christine Callan

When driving along I-5, the Peace Arch Factory Outlet Mall in Custer may seem more visible than usual. That’s because the southern most three-fourths of the property has changed ownership recently and new signs and other physical improvements will help to make the location more visible. The remaining quarter of the property, which includes 25,000 square feet, remains in the hands of the previous owner, Marquis Property Company.

An announcement was made June 3, that the mall located at 3400 Birch Bay-Lynden Road, built in 1993, was acquired by Dallas based ORIX Capital Markets, LLC. ORIX is the fourth largest servicer of commercial servers in the U.S. with a servicing portfolio of approximately $50 billion.
ORIX foreclosed on Phase I of two phases on the morning of May 10 after loan documents were not adhered to, said Julie Gschwind, asset manager for ORIX.

In 1998, Marquis Property Company got a conditional use permit to build a partially enclosed 150 foot climbing spire and a water kayak course as a part of an ambitious retail addition to the center. There were also plans to put in a movie theater but nothing came of that either, according to Terese Carins of CB Richard Ellis, consultants to ORIX.

ORIX has plans to reposition the mall to serve as a hybrid factory outlet mall/shopping center. “We are repositioning to be more responsive to the local community as well as to the 70,000 vehicles that pass by the center on a daily basis,” said Gschwind. Convenience, food and value based tenants will be added to serve the local market.

“We are looking for fresh, new businesses to draw more attention to our location”Carins said. She added the reasons the mall has struggled include false rumors that stores aren’t open, the decline of the Canadian dollar, which has resulted in fewer Canadian shoppers and the competition coming from Bellis Fair Mall and Burlington Outlet Mall.

In addition to physical changes to the property, an improved web-site is also in the plan. “We are excited about turning the place around and making it a viable shopping center,” Cairns said. “It is really all about the community and what we see is tremendous potential.”..


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