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L.A. company announces purchase of Southlake Mall

L.A.-based Vintage Real Estate announced recently that it has bought Southlake Mall in Morrow with plans to renovate the shopping center. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

L.A.-based Vintage Real Estate announced recently that it has bought Southlake Mall in Morrow with plans to renovate the shopping center. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

MORROW — More than a year after it was put up for auction on the steps of Clayton County’s courthouse, Southlake Mall has a new owner.

Los Angeles-based Vintage Real Estate announced last week that it bought the mall in Morrow with plans to bring in new stores and restaurants. The mall posts annual sales of more than $100 million and is currently 90 percent occupied, according to Vintage Real Estate’s news statement.

“Southlake Mall already benefits from a great tenant line-up and tremendous freeway visibility in a growing market with impressive leadership,” said Vintage Real Estate Chairman Fred Sands in the statement. “We have the capital and experience to transform it into a thriving and popular destination for the Atlanta Metro Area.”

He later added, “We will create an exciting new center court for fashion, food and fun … We plan to completely transform this space and bring in tenants currently missing from the mall’s ideal merchandising mix such as fashion retailers and popular restaurants.”

Among the company’s plans are redevelopment of the 160,000-square foot anchor space left vacant by the closing of JCPenney in 2011. The company owns that space but did not elaborate on plans for its redevelopment. However, there have been rumors among city leaders in recent weeks that the company may try to convince a retailer which recently left Morrow to return in that space.

Vintage Real Estate also owns Whitney Field in Leominster, Mass., Heritage Mall in Albany, Ore., SouthBay Pavilion Mall in Carson, Calif., The Village at Nellie Gail Ranch in Laguna Hills, Calif., and Wenatchee Valley Mall in Wenatchee, Wash. The company said it has brought several large retailers into those shopping centers, including Burlington Coat Factory, Hobby Lobby, Fresh Market, a Cinemark movie theater and Sportsman’s Warehouse.