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Southgate Mall again for sale; auction set for Jan. 30-Feb. 1

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Southgate Mall, shown here in March 2016, is apparently for sale again. Six months after being purchased at a public auction for $8 million, the mall is scheduled to be auctioned off in an online sale Jan. 30 through Feb. 1.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Six months after being sold in a public auction, Southgate Mall is apparently up for sale again.

An ad announcing the mall’s sale at the end of the month is listed on the website of Ten-X, a Southern California-based real estate transaction firm. According to the ad, the auction of Southgate Mall will take place online between Jan. 30 and Feb. 1, with the starting bid set at $800,000 and each bidder required to submit a $10,000 participation deposit.

Attempts to obtain further information about the auction from Ten-X were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

Tina Mahoney, who is Ten-X's point of contact for the sale, referred questions to a company marketing representative, who did not return a phone call.

Terri Harrell, the mall’s marketing coordinator, could not be reached Wednesday.

According to its website, Ten-X says it launched its online auction platform in 2009 and added a cell phone application in 2014. Ten-X claims to have sold more than 244,000 commercial and residential properties, totaling more than $41 billion, with the largest transaction more than $96 million.

Southgate Mall’s impending sale would be its second since the summer. In July, the mall was sold for $8 million to L and R Partners, a Miami-based debt servicing company, at a public auction in front of the Pasquotank County Courthouse.

That sale was prompted because Southgate's former owners, ABC Properties of New York City, defaulted on a 2005 promissory note held by ABC's lender, Bank National Association. BNA demanded a payment of $8.92 million from ABC in September 2015, but ABC could not make the payment.

Pasquotank records show Southgate valued at $6.3 million for taxation purposes.

Wayne Harris, director of the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Economic Development Commission, said he found out about Ten-X's proposed auction of the mall while searching the Internet on an unrelated topic.

Asked his view of Southgate Mall’s financial health, Harris acknowledged “there’s a lot of empty space” at the mall. However, he believes Southgate’s two biggest stores, Belk and Burkes Outlet, continue to do well. He notes that T.J. Maxx and Ross Dress for Less, the two main retail stores at the mall’s biggest local competitor — Tanglewood Pavilion — seem to appeal to a different customer base.

“I would think that the ongoing success of those stores (Belk and Burkes Outlet) could carry that mall for quite some time,” Harris said.

Attempts to reach representatives of both Belk and Burkes Outlet were unsuccessful Wednesday.

Ten-X’s ad estimates the mall’s current occupancy at 62 percent. Other key mall tenants include GNC, Hibbett Sports, Radio Shack, Saslow's Jewelers and Shoe Dept.

Southgate, which opened in 1969, has been affected by changing shopping patterns in Elizabeth City, most notably the opening of a Walmart Supercenter at the Shoppes at Tanglewood in 2007 and the August 2015 opening of Tanglewood Pavilion. Slowly but steadily, Southgate has lost tenants, including J.C. Penney which closed its store at the mall in April 2015.

To read Ten-X's online announcement about the Southgate auction, click on: https://www.ten-x.com/commercial/details/1409-w-ehringhaus-street-elizabeth-city-nc-27909-193051191-b_199/

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