LaVale's Country Club Mall to be sold at auction next month

The Country Club Mall was sold during an online auction Wednesday, but the buyer was not disclosed.

LAVALE — The Country Club Mall was sold Wednesday via online auction, according to a representative with the commercial real estate firm Ten-X.

The mall, excluding the property occupied by Walmart, has been placed in escrow following the acceptance of a successful bid from an undisclosed buyer.

According to Ten-X, the identity of the buyer and the amount of the sale, will not be disclosed until the sale closes and the information is entered into public land records.

Ten-X, formerly Auction.com, posted a notice in early October that the current owner, Gumberg Asset Management of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, had fallen into arrears with no payments made since May. A sale by auction was scheduled to run from Nov. 16-18 with a starting bid of $1.3 million.

Jason Bennett, interim Allegany County administrator, said Wednesday they hope to learn more in the coming days.

“We can’t offer anything on it yet,” said Bennett. “Jeff Barclay (Allegany County director of economic development) is going to try to follow up with the winning bidder to talk with them. Jeff had talked to some of the prospective ones about their intents and it’s difficult to field responses from them when you talk to them. No one wants to give up what they’re doing. My guess is it will take a while to close regardless of what happens.”

Located at 1262 Vocke Road, the Country Club Mall opened in 1981. In recent months, the mall joined a long list of struggling ventures as the brick-and-mortar retail industry faced challenges as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Ten-X statistics show the mall is currently 52.3% rented.

Sears and Bon-Ton are among the previous tenants who have closed their doors. Another, JCPenney, which has been at the mall since it opened, closed its doors last month.

According to Ten-X, a balance of $21.9 million remains on an original note of $26.2 million. The winning bidder would be taking over the note, thereby giving them the rights to the property. The note is secured by a 391,062-square-foot portion of a larger 594,069-square-foot regional mall anchored by Walmart.

The mall is situated on 46.3 acres and its lone anchor tenant is Walmart. Other stores include American Eagle, Bath & Body Works, Country Club Cinemas, Shoe Show, T.J. Maxx and Ulta Beauty.

Greg Larry is a reporter at Cumberland Times-News. To reach him, call 304-639-4951, email glarry@times-news.com and follow him on Twitter.

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