Business

Former Coral Ridge Mall Younkers set for auction

Younkers at Westdale is one of two Iowa locations that closed in 2018. Photographed on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Younkers at Westdale is one of two Iowa locations that closed in 2018. Photographed on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The former Younkers department store building at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville will have tax benefits for the winning bidder when it is sold at auction near the end of this month.

The 98,458-square-foot, single-story building on a 9.1-acre lot is located in a qualified opportunity zone created by the federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Sites within the zones are given certain tax benefits to encourage redevelopment.

The Younkers at Coral Ridge Mall closed on Aug. 29 after Bon-Ton Stores, the York, Pa., corporate parent, announced in April 2018 that it was shutting down and liquidating merchandise.

The Coral Ridge Mall property is one of three former Bon-Ton-owned buildings located in qualified opportunity zones, according to A&G Realty Partners of Melville, N.Y.

The tax incentives include capital gains tax reductions of as high as 15 percent.

A&G Realty Partners will auction 10 former Bon-Ton buildings at 9 a.m. Central Standard Time on Jan. 28 at the New York offices of Jones Day, the law firm representing Bon-Ton in bankruptcy proceedings.

A news release from A&G describes Coral Ridge Mall as drawing from the 80,000-plus students and employees at the University of Iowa.

“In addition to a mix of traditional and big-box retailers, the mall’s ability to pull from outside its trade area is enhanced by an ice arena and 10-screen cinema,” said Michael Jerbich, a Chicago-based principal at A&G.

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A&G was hired in May 2018 to dispose of seven ground leases, 194 leased locations and 23 owned properties.

The real estate advisory and brokerage company has been working on finding buyers to reinvent and repurpose the sites.

The two-story, 100,000-square-foot former Younkers building at Westdale Town Center was not retained as an asset of Bon-Ton when the company filed for bankruptcy in February 2018.

Frew Development Group of Denver, Colo., took possession of that property and is working to repurpose it.

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