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Iowa City Marketplace purchased for $14.3 million
New retailer anticipated to move into former Sycamore Mall in coming months
IOWA CITY — Iowa City Marketplace was purchased for just under $14.3 million by a Tennessee-based company focused on redeveloping shopping centers.
CORE Realty Holdings of California sold the shopping center in late July to Brookwood Capital Advisors, the Iowa City Press-Citizen first reported. A chain store is anticipated to move into the vacant space that formerly housed Von Maur and Lucky’s Market once a lease is finalized.
“(Iowa City Marketplace is) in a good market, you have a lot of people, good demographics, lots of store sales, and we know that we can do something with the big empty box that's there and bring someone else into it,” Ben Hamd, founder of Brookwood Capital Advisors, told The Gazette.
The shopping center, formerly known as Sycamore Mall, is on Sycamore Street in southeast Iowa City. Businesses in the area include Planet Fitness, Joann Fabrics & Crafts, Marcus Theatres, Panera Bread, McDonald’s, Mexico Lindo and Oyama Sushi.
The shopping center rebranded in 2013. The rebranding was intended to provide more areas for social interaction and turn the area into a social space by bringing together dining, entertainment and mixed use.
The 21-acre site, which was built in 1969, is valued at just over $11 million. CORE Realty purchased the shopping center in 2008 for $18.6 million, according to the Iowa City Assessor’s Office.
Businesses in the shopping center have shifted over the years, particularly with the center’s anchor stores. Von Maur, a key retailer, moved to the Iowa River Landing in Coralville in 2013.
A couple of years later, in June 2015, grocery store Lucky’s Market opened in the former Von Maur space. The Colorado-based grocery store closed in March 2019.
The large space has remained empty since Lucky’s Market closed.
Brookwood Capital Advisors focuses on finding empty sites, leasing out the spaces and “setting the sites up for long-term success,” according to the group’s website. The group has 11 completed projects listed on its website in various states, including Tennessee, Kansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina.
Hamd, who used to live in Iowa City, said the company bought the Iowa City Marketplace site to redevelop it over the next several months.
“We try to find stuff where there's empty space that we know we can lease up in good markets, and we try to get it as inexpensively as possible and redevelop it and add value, bring businesses there and make it kind of a full place again,” Hamd said.
Hamd said they are close to getting a lease signed with a “big company” that would open in the former grocery store space. Hamd said this will be a chain store. Once the lease is signed in coming weeks, Hamd said they will announce the new tenant.
“I think once it's done, you'll see the difference in the parking lot with how many people are there,” Hamd added.
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