JCPenney At Northgate Mall Is Closing

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. announced the closing of four JCPenney anchor locations, including the one at Northgate Mall.

Stephen Lebovitz, president & CEO, said, “One of our most attractive investments coming out of the recession has been to improve the performance of our properties through redeveloping under-performing anchor locations. The opportunities created by the four JCPenney closures announced today fit perfectly with that objective.

“While we have been encouraged by JCPenney’s recent improvements in sales and traffic, we have been anticipating certain store closures to occur. As we said in our most recent earnings call, we have been proactively engaging in discussions and gauging retail demand with this in mind and are pleased to announce strong interest for the locations expected to close in 2014. Our next steps will be to move forward with negotiations with retailers and finalize redevelopment plans. Once leases are signed, we will share specific retail names joining each mall, as well as construction and opening timelines. The list of retailers interested in these specific locations includes sporting goods, arts and crafts and other box retailers, as well as a traditional department store for one location, all of which will enhance the performance of the malls overall.”

JCPenney announced its intention to close four locations in the CBL portfolio at Hickory Point Mall in Forsyth, IL, Janesville Mall in Janesville, WI, Wausau Center in Wausau, WI, and Northgate Mall in Chattanooga. 

CBL anticipates store closures to occur in the second quarter. Three locations are leased from CBL. The Northgate Mall store is leased from a third party and CBL will work with the building owner to facilitate its redevelopment. The stores aggregate approximately 499,000 square feet and $1.4 million in gross annual rent. JCPenney will continue to pay rent until lease expiration.

Mr. Lebovitz added, “As part of our review process, we analyzed the co-tenancy provisions in small shops leases at these properties and determined that the financial exposure is immaterial. The significant and diverse retail demand for each location demonstrates the strength and resilience of our dominant mall properties. We look forward to the improved growth rates generated from these enhancements.”

Officials said, "Over the past three years, CBL has added or redeveloped more than 75 anchor and junior anchor locations to its portfolio comprising more than 2.2 million square feet. Today, other than locations under redevelopment, CBL has no vacant anchor locations in its core portfolio. The JCPenney stores that are closing are all prominently located in their malls with convenient parking and prime visibility, which will facilitate their repurposing. Based on CBL’s extensive track record of successful anchor redevelopment, similar projects have generally required 12-24 months to complete and an investment of $5–10 million generating initial unleveraged returns in the range of 7-10%. More specific cost and return information regarding the four locations will be announced as plans are finalized."


Severe Storms In South May Create Holiday Travel Chaos

AccuWeather reports rain and thunderstorms, some capable of producing severe weather, will affect much of the South from  Tuesday  into Christmas Eve.   Despite this week being the first week of winter, it may seem like spring in the South for a day or two. The rain and storms will be spawned by a Christmas Eve storm as it gains strength and begins ... (click for more)

Tennessee To Join Lawsuit To Challenge Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery on Monday notified the appropriate parties that the state will join a lawsuit brought by attorneys general and governors from 24 other states to challenge the president’s recent executive action on immigration. Mr. Slatery said, “Our office has carefully considered whether to join this lawsuit and concluded that it is in the best interest ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)

UTC Cagers Host UAB Tonight at McKenzie Arena

UAB’s talented point guard Nick Norton has been at three schools in three years. Before one prematurely concludes the 19-year-old can’t find a home for his basketball talents, it should be noted that his dad, Randy Norton, – the current UAB women’s basketball coach - has something to do with the “let’s get out the GPS and see where we go next” lifestyle. Nick, a true freshman ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)