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Local

Northland Mall soon could change hands

STERLING – The Northland Mall is on the market, but it might not stay there for long.

Denver-based J. Herzog & Sons has been shopping the Sterling mall and its Crossroads Mall in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and buyers have already been lined up.

The listing agents for the properties say sales contracts have been drawn up on both malls, but neither is a done deal. The company would not disclose who the prospective buyers were, or whether the same group might be buying both properties.

Northland Mall dates back to 1973, but some remodeling was done in 1999, and in the aftermath of a June 2015 storm that ripped off part of the roof, collapsed a wall, and ruptured a gas line.

The Crossroads Mall, built in 1965, looks a lot like the Sterling mall. The Iowa shopping center also lost its large J.C. Penney this year. It has many of the same tenants, including a Dunham's Sports, Maurices, Claire's, Bath & Body Works, Christopher & Banks, Book World, GNC, and Younkers, which like Bergner's, is part of the Bon-Ton Stores group.

Herzog has been exiting the challenging regional shopping mall business. In June, the company sold its Conestoga Mall in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Namdar Realty Group of Great Neck, New York. That mall, built in 1974, also has a J.C. Penney, Younker's and Dunham's as anchor stores, and its J.C. Penney still is operating.

J.C. Penney announced plans March 17 to close 138 stores, including the store that had been among the mall's first tenants when it opened. The store took up 100,648 square feet at the mall – about one-third of its total retail space.

A plan is in place to subdivide the J.C. Penney space into three smaller sites, and add 20,000 square feet so the three future tenants would have access from the parking lot. The new strip center and mall would be fully integrated.

Herzog has filed a petition to subdivide mall property that will be considered by the city's Plan Commission at 7 p.m. Oct. 19.

The Northland Mall property also includes two outlots east of the former J.C. Penney space that can be developed.

A couple of the mall's tenants have made long-term commitments to the site. Bergner's is locked into its space through January 2022, and Planet Fitness has signed an 11-year lease with the mall.

Herzog did not respond to several requests for comment.

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