New Owners of Former Macy's at Valley View Want to Fill Space With Retail of Some Kind

valley-view-mall-10.jpg
Prange Way/Labelscar
As we noted one month ago, the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce is coordinating efforts to repurpose Valley View Center, which has long been a shadow of a shadow of its former self. Bruce Bradford, the chamber's interim president, and city council member Linda Koop spoke of plans intended to redraw the some 400 acres that include not only the aging mall but the land around it.

As Bradford told Unfair Park only yesterday, those efforts are continuing apace, with HKS Architects having been hired to map out "this visioning process."

But in the midst of that, the new owners of Macy's, which has been shuttered since the beginning of '08, have submitted to the city a building inspection application, dated September 27 and obtained by Unfair Park Wednesday. Its wording is vague, little more than a few initials ("RR," meaning: regional retail) and the promise of "gen merch" filling more than 100,000 square feet. The former department store, says the application, filled 300,300 square feet. (Or, last we looked, around 20 acres.)

The application was filed by Ed Simons, a former city code-enforcement manager at Masterplan Consultants, for whom messages have been left. City officials are unclear what the new owners, a partnership now known as Monfort Mall LLC that includes attorney Lou Lebowitz, intend to do there. When reached late yesterday, Karl Zavitkovsky, head of the Office of Economic Development, said this was the first he'd heard about it. And Koop was just as uncertain: "I am looking into it."

"They are allowed to have regional retail, which encompasses a huge amount of things," said the council member, whose district includes Valley View Center. "But anything that happens on that site in the next five years will be transitional use, because of the LBJ expansion."

Messages have also been left for Lebowitz.

Bradford also isn't sure what they're up to; representatives of the new ownership have been to some of the chamber's meetings, and "they're aware of the process" taking place, he says. But so far, there haven't been substantive conversations with Monfort Mall LLC's higher-ups about their plans for the former Macy's.

"But at this point, there will likely be a number of interim uses of the various components of this vast tract of land that, over time, will morph into differnet solutions and different uses," says Bradford, a banker. "The real estate concept is 'highest and best use,' and I feel certain that's what each of the property owners and HKS are trying to find. The visioning process ties the economic impact to a social impact -- coming up with a great streetscape, deciding what kind of buildings go on this tract of land versus that tract. All of that will be be clearly thought out, and there will be an ultimate outcome first undertaken by the visioning process and later sculpted into zoning and infrastructure. And over time we'll see any interim uses ultimately set aside. What that time frame is, though, remains anyone's guess."
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15 comments
Paul
Paul

Ummm ... 300,300 sq ft = 6.89 acres, not 20 acres

The lot may be ~20 acres, but the store is not.

So much for no child left behind ....

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

Good God I hope it doesnt become a mexican flea market or another Big T Bazzarr, that part of town needs decent retail, not "LaShaundas Wigs & More"

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Robert

Is all Valley View Mall property owned by one company ?That would be the bricks the buildings and parking lots  And they control the leasing ?

Or do the Anchor tenants own there Own Business Buildings at the Mall ?

MattL1
MattL1

I didn't know there was a living in mapping out visioning processes.  I assume some sort of hallucinogen is involved.  

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Yes, the lot is 20 acres. If you clicked through you'd see how it's divvied up.

Paul
Paul

Gee ... I was hoping for a "Tortas y Mas" ...

Mavdog
Mavdog

Sears, Dillard's and the former Macy's (Sanger-Harris to most of us) are owned separately from the enclosed mall. The mall itself is controlled by the lender, they foreclosed last year.

Typically a mall property is governed by multiple agreements ("covenants") that dictate the location of buildings, access drives and uses. The property owners are all parties to the agreements and all the property owners must agree to any changes to the terms of the agreements.

Redeveloping a former mall is not very easy unless one group purchases all the properties.

Ed D.
Ed D.

The anchor tenants own their own buildings but not the necessarily the land under them. This caused a legal kerfuffle when the owners of the former Bloomingdale's tried to sell it to Montgomery Ward back in 1990. (It eventually re-opened as a JC Penney in '96.)

Paul
Paul

I did ... I truly wonder what the "vision" is.

It may be my eyes, but I couldn't really see the fine print on the map when I clicked for the larger image.

It is curious as to how the site is being replatted.

Any word if the mosaic murals will be saved?

Thanks for the update.

Paul
Paul

Do they have a ground lease similar to what Nasher had for Northpark with the Caruths?

Paul
Paul

Yes that is what Nasher originally had from the Caruths ... a 99 year ground lease with improvements reverting to the surface fee owner upon termination of the lease.

I think that this practice may have been very common in the 60's and 70's as Dallas was building out and the large land owners were fearful of missing out on some very significant gains in the near future.

It also reduced the capital that developers needed.

thanks

Ed D.
Ed D.

There's a ground lease, yes, but I'm not privy to the details of either one.

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