Dickens’ Bleak Mall

I mentioned the foreclosure of Crossroads Mall way back in the spring, but didn’t go into the gory details: I merely predicted the arrival of the bulldozers. Then this story cropped up this week (hat tip: McGehee), and suddenly it was news again:

Crossroads Mall, half-empty after anchor stores Macy’s, JC Penney, Montgomery Ward and Dillard’s all pulled out, was brought out of foreclosure in April with $77 million in debt, according to Ann Marie Randolph at the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s office. It is now up for sale for $24 million.

Montgomery Ward, you’ll remember, died way back in 2001, so this situation has been brewing for a long time. JCPenney has regrouped, with new stores to the south and east, but neither Macy’s nor Dillard’s has sought a new location.

And you care about this dead mall, because you own it:

The Fed’s $29 billion bailout of Bear Stearns was secured by a portfolio of Bear assets that included $5.5 billion in commercial loans, including the note on Crossroads Mall that went into default.

In case you want the dots connected, the Oklahoman’s Richard Mize has done the drawing for you:

Price Edwards is listing the mall for mall owner Maiden Lane LLC, an entity of Maiden Lane Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities Trust. It wound up with the mall after Arkansas-based Midwest Mall Properties LLC lost it to foreclosure late last year.

Maiden Lane is a “special purpose vehicle” created in April 2008 by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to facilitate the merger of Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Maiden Lane owns Crossroads Mall because former owner Macerich Co. refinanced $61.2 million with Bear Stearns in 2006. But since Maiden Lane is a creature of the Federal Reserve, it was the Fed that took title when Maiden Lane paid $11.24 million for the property at a sheriff’s sale April 30.

I still think: bulldozers. Except for right around that oil well on the premises.





3 comments

  1. fillyjonk »

    22 October 2009 · 9:01 am

    I doubt we can count on the Jarndyce brothers swooping in and buying it up?

  2. McGehee »

    22 October 2009 · 9:31 am

    Personally, I think Crossroads is the perfect metaphor for all of the bailouts.

  3. Jeffro »

    22 October 2009 · 12:06 pm

    Reuters needs a map.

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