Lakeside Mall sold to developer with plans beyond retail
Lakeside Mall has been sold to a Miami group that says it will add other uses beyond shopping to revive the Sterling Heights shopping center, according to Sterling Heights city officials.
The deal on the struggling mall was completed Tuesday. The mall's previous owner, General Growth Properties Inc., defaulted on its $144 million mortgage, Sterling Heights officials said. Earlier this year, Lord & Taylor closed its anchor store at Lakeside. Another longtime anchor, Sears, closed in 2018.
The shopping center was purchased by Out of the Box Ventures, a subsidiary of Miami-based Lionheart Capital. The group becomes the new owner of the mall immediately.
Long-term plans for Lakeside Mall include adding new use to the property other than retail, but officials didn't provide details of those future plans.
Out of the Box Ventures is a commercial real estate fund that focuses on formerly distressed commercial retail space. Its properties include Battle Creek Plaza and the former J.C. Penney and Macy's at Lakeview Square Mall in Battle Creek; the former J.C. Penney in Bay City; the former Macy's at Birchwood Mall in Fort Gratiot; and the former J.C. Penney at Midland Mall in Midland.
Ophir Sternberg, CEO & Founding Partner, of Lionheart Capital said his group has "a strong track record for success and expect nothing less for this exciting endeavor."
Sterling Heights officials want the mall turned into a mixed-use destination that can help revitalize surrounding areas. The city has been working on plans for years to revive the 1.5-million-square-foot center that sits on 100 acres off of Hall Road.
“Our goal has always been to see Lakeside transform from a traditional retail mall into a mixed-use space focused on walkability, placemaking and community,” Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said in a statement. “I’m proud of the proactive work we’ve done to help position the Lakeside Mall area for continued success for many decades to come.”
The redevelopment project could mean "hundreds of millions of dollars just for construction,” said Sterling Heights Senior Economic Development Advisor Luke Bonner. “It’s imperative that we work toward preserving this critical tax base and increasing the job base of 1,000 currently supported by Lakeside Mall.”