Local investors bought Crossroads Mall on Tuesday in a deal that will surprise people who assumed it was doomed: They plan to keep it open as a mall.
Mike Dillard and Roddy Bates, owners of Raptor Properties LLC, paid $3.5 million for the long-struggling mall at Interstate 35 and I-240. The mall had been owned by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York since 2008 in one of the oddest pieces of fallout from the federal banking bailout.
The buyers, who were surprised after taking a good look at the property, are ready to take Crossroads forward, spokesman John Wooley II said.
“We were all blown away. When we thought of Crossroads, we thought, ‘Is that still open?' We figured we'd see a lot of neglect,” he said. “We walked in (and inspected it) and thought, ‘Minus the Pepto Bismol railing, that (property) is probably in better shape than any mall around.'”
As recently as June, the asking price for the 762,532-square-foot property was $6 million, one-fourth the $24 million asked when the mall property, which then included other space that has since sold, landed among Price Edwards & Co.'s retail listings in summer 2009.
Raptor Properties acquired the main mall building with 383,784 square feet; the former J.C. Penney store, 198,358 square feet; the former Steve & Barry's, 157,000 square feet; and the former Ward's Automotive, 23,390 square feet. Several other former Crossroads properties previously sold to other investors.
With replacement cost estimated at $125 per square foot, the buyers got Crossroads at a price with plenty of room to maneuver as they work to improve it, possibly rebrand it and return its reputation as a southside destination.
Raptor said it hopes to work with Oklahoma City and South Oklahoma City chamber officials to revive Crossroads retail — but not high-end.
“The price is right for Raptor and (Bates and Dillard) are looking forward to bringing some TLC to the mall,” Raptor Properties said in a statement. “The property has been in receivership for over 3.5 years. The mall is in great shape, but Raptor looks to make some improvements on appearance, open up the leasing gates and attract previous tenants back as well as new retailers.”