Raven Purchases Foreclosed Northwest Plaza Mall, Plans $106M Redevelopment

The Northwest Plaza shopping mall in St. Ann is set to get a new lease on life as an entity formed by Raven Development closed on the purchase of the nearly vacant property,

The Northwest Plaza shopping mall in St. Ann is set to get a new lease on life as an entity formed by Raven Development closed on the purchase of the nearly vacant property, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Bob Glarner, a principal of Raven Development, announced a $106-million redevelopment plan for the 1,829,000-square-foot asset.

The 122-acre foreclosed property was acquired for around $5 million by Raven Development affiliate NWP LLC. The property was sold by St. Ann Shopping Center LLC, which is owned by Wells Fargo Bank. The listing price was $10 million.

The Northwest Plaza, built by the Zorensky family, was at one time the largest shopping mall in the world but has been neglected in recent years after several changes in ownership. Raven Development, led by brothers Bob and David Glarner, has closed on a financing deal with Great Southern Bank to redevelop Northwest Plaza and has secured approval for $33 million in tax increment financing assistance from the County TIF Commission and St. Ann aldermen.

Bob Glarner said the company plans to tear down most of the shopping center, renovate the 12-story office tower and construct big box stores, restaurants, offices and possibly a technical college. The redevelopment plan also calls for the complete renovation of the J.C. Penney building and the Macy’s and Burlington Coat Factory stores. Eau Claire-Wisconsin based Menard has been contracted to buy around 18 of the 122 acres.

The developer announced that NAI Desco will broker the retail portion of the property, while it is interviewing several brokerage offices for the leasing of the office tower. The company already has a letter of intent from a national retailer and is also discussing with a second anchor tenant, Glarner said. The first store is expected to open in the fall of 2013 or the spring of 2014.

According to a recent report released by Marcus & Millichap, approximately 950,000 square feet of retail space is currently under construction throughout the St. Louis metro area. Several projects which have been stalled during the recession are expected to come online in the coming years, and a further 3 million square feet are planned in the metro. By year end around 450,000 square feet will be delivered, increasing the stock by 0.5 percent.

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Photo Courtesy of: Caldorwards4 via Wikimedia Commons.

Chart courtesy of: Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services Inc.