Southland Mall, the huge shopping center in Cutler Bay, enjoyed a reasonably good turnout over the July Fourth weekend, but troubles loom in the months ahead.
The mall reopened on May 21 after the initial COVD-19 shutdowns, but Wells Fargo Bank, representing a group of investors, filed a foreclosure suit in June against Southland Mall Properties, which is part of Investcorp.
Investcorp had earlier secured a $65.1 million CMBS loan from JPMorgan Chase, but reportedly failed to make its April payment to Chase due to lack of income from the stores and restaurants leasing there. Investcorp’s co-CEOs are Rishi Kapoor and Hazem Ben-Gacem.
Most of the stores and restaurants currently are open for business, although mall information says that the Regal Theater complex won’t reopen until July 24. Bath & Body Works also is scheduled to reopen on that date, with openings for The Princess Club, Jump A Roos, Island Carousel, 9DVRX, Florida Technical College and JB Robinson Jewelers yet to be determined.
According to Wells Fargo the property has five different code violations totaling $66,189 that have yet to be paid. They say there also are open citations on the property totaling $94,360. The $160,550 total will be secured by liens against the property if they are not paid, according to the bank’s recent filing. Wells Fargo told the court it would appoint Carmen Spinoso, CEO of Syracuse, NY-based Spinoso Real Estate Group, as receiver of the property.
The motion states that, “The borrower has had years to remedy these situations but has failed to do so.”
Two of the mall’s anchor tenants have departed K-mart in 2017 and Sears earlier this year. JCPenney, although having national problems, remains, as do TJ Maxx, Regal Cinemas and LA Fitness.
Southland Mall originally was called Cutler Ridge Mall and opened in 1960. After extensive damage from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, it was renovated in 2005 with more than 100 retailers and has long been important to the community since it’s closer than Dadeland Mall and employs many local workers. The mall is directly across SW 211th Street from the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center.
Rainy weekends usually bring shoppers into the malls. Most Southland Mall retailers were difficult to reach by deadline, but the assistant manager at Aeropostale Men’s Apparel said, “It was a pretty good weekend.”