MUNCIE, INDIANA. — The Muncie Mall, which has been on the market for years, is set to be sold at an upcoming sheriff's auction in May.
The 53-acre property has an asking price of more than $32 million, as advertised in a legal notice published in late March.
This auction was authorized by a Delaware County judge following a judgment against the mall by Wells Fargo Bank for about $32 million. This would allow for a legal sale of the mall which would put the shopping center in Wells Fargo’s name.
“In order to do that [Wells Fargo] can't sell it,” Muncie Mayor Dan Ridenour said.. “If the bank had somebody walk in and say, ‘We want to pay $15 million for the mall,’ they can't sell it because they don't own it.”
The bank had taken possession of the property after the former owner, Washington Prime Group, stopped paying the mortgage in 2020 before filing for bankruptcy the following year.
As of January, court documents show that 58% of the mall's space was leased, with a few stores generating sales of over $1 million per year, including Zales Jewelers, MCL Cafeteria, and Bath & Body Works. Mayor Ridenour is optimistic about the auction's potential.
“I would expect that 20 years from now there'll be something pretty positive there,” Mayor Ridenour said.
He hopes that the bank already has a buyer lined up for the shopping center.
“There could be hotels, there could be more restaurants, there could be housing along with a group of retail. Probably some offices as well,” said Ridenour.
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