Business & Real Estate

Country Club Plaza is sold; new owner plans ‘repositioning’ of troubled mall

Country Club Plaza, a troubled Sacramento mall that’s been losing tenants for years, has been sold to a San Francisco real estate firm.

Erwin Mieger, head of EDM Realty Corp. in San Francisco, confirmed Friday that his company purchased the Watt Avenue mall Wednesday and hopes to execute a turnaround plan.

“We intend to lease it up,” Mieger said. “We like the location. We’ll be able to convince tenants to go there.”

The mall was sold by Laeroc Partners, a Southern California firm. Officials with Laeroc couldn’t be reached for comment.

A source with knowledge of the deal said the purchase price was around $20 million. Mieger declined to confirm the figure.

Mieger said the mall is about 30 percent leased, not counting Macy’s, which owns its building at Country Club and isn’t considered a tenant.

He said it’s likely Country Club will veer away from the traditional “fashion mall” concept and look for “neighborhood” tenants such as a drugstore or an auto-parts dealer. “We need to get a good repositioning in place,” he said.

Nonetheless, he said he believes Macy’s will stay. The other anchor store is Ross Dress for Less.

Mieger’s firm has previously owned other Sacramento shopping centers, including what is now known as Marketplace at Birdcage. EDM primarily owns office, retail and other properties in the Bay Area.

Melinda Eppler, executive director of the Fulton Avenue Association, said she hadn’t heard directly about the sale but welcomed the idea of a Bay Area owner. “They’re more local and more likely to be present,” said Eppler, who represents businesses in the area. “We’ve had owners from Arizona and Los Angeles who were mostly absentee owners.”

The deal was brokered by Szabo-Kraft commercial real estate in Sacramento.

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