PARMA, OH (WOIO) - Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter responds to Phillips Edison Strategic Investment Fund II LLC purchasing Parmatown Mall. The 1.18 million-square-foot, mixed-use complex is located on 83 acres, at the corner of Ridgewood Road and Ridge Road.
"Every day, the first thing I see when I look out my office window, I see Parmatown Mall," DeGeeter said. "Until a deal was reached, I saw an area that was a source of uncertainty for the city. Now, it's a view that brings with it a new vision of hope and energy. We have a partner to help revitalize this area."
DeGeeter's vision for the area includes a "city center" type concept that encompasses the mall area and other nearby community touch points -- Byers Field, the Day Drive corridor, the new Cuyahoga County Library behind City Hall, Parma Community General Hospital, and Stearns Farm.
"This means so much for Parma, in terms of vitality, economic development, tax base and also to encourage long-time residents who have been here and have seen what the mall can mean to the city," he said. "We are looking forward to working with Phillips Edison in any way we can, to be willing partners in an effort to revitalize our city."
Said DeGeeter: "We said when we came in here that Parma is the seventh-largest city in the state, and it's time we started acting like it. I believe this is a great step toward showing what kind of city we really have here."
DeGeeter said the city is looking forward to working with Phillips Edison & Co.
"We're excited to work with such a reputable company that has a track record of success," he said. "This is a substantial investment, and I couldn't more pleased."
DeGeeter credited hard work by the mall's court-appointed receiver, Dave Browning of CBRE Group Inc., to help spur the sale of Parmatown.
"We appreciate his help and determination to see this through to a successful conclusion," he said. "This sale is important for Parma's future and the quality of life for our residents."
The property includes three components: (1) Parmatown Plaza, an enclosed, single-story, regional shopping mall anchored by JCPenney, Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart; (2) Parmatown Strip Center, a neighborhood retail center anchored by Marc's Grocery Store; and (3) Parmatown Medical Center, a four-story medical office building.
Roy Williams, vice president of Phillips Edison's Strategic Investment Fund, said, "Phillips Edison has been in the business of redeveloping retail properties for over 20 years. Parmatown represents an ideal opportunity to apply our expertise and revitalize this historic property to its full potential. Now that the acquisition process has been concluded, we will focus our efforts on a comprehensive strategy that will rejuvenate this key component of Parma's commercial center."
Built in 1955, Parmatown was expanded and renovated in 1985, 2004 and 2005. The complex has been managed by a court-appointed receiver since July 2011 after the original owners defaulted on the mortgage. Phillips Edison has spent several months working with the receiver to conclude the acquisition.
Parmatown is the fourth purchase for Strategic Investment Fund II, a follow-on fund to Strategic Investment Fund I, which Phillips Edison established in 2007 to focus on buying and improving large distressed real estate opportunities that could benefit from the company's well-known and successful operating platform. With Fund I fully invested, the company raised $57 million of new equity in 2011 from its well-established pool of investors to take advantage of real estate opportunities in the marketplace.