After Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital purchased the 1.3M SF Gwinnett Place Mall
out of foreclosure, we had a long chat with SVP Shawl Pryor
and CEO Steve Maksin
. While the two were mum on redevelopment plans
, numerous Gwinnett County sources say the new owners are considering redeveloping a portion of the mall—especially the former Belk's wing—into an area with non-retail use , including maybe office space
. (We already treat the mall like an office: going into debt, long lunches at Great Panda, and napping at Sleepy's.) But Steve says the "location is going to be retail first.
" We should have a better glimpse of Moonbeam's plans within nine months, when it goes before the county with plans.
Until then, Shawl says the focus is on stabilizing
the property. Gwinnett Place is half filled with a lot of mom and pop retailers, as many of the national tenants vacated
in recent years. What to expect in the process? "One of the things that I really embraced when doing the due diligence of the shopping center is the diversity
. It's almost like the mall, and this area, is like an international gateway
," Shawl says. The duo say Moonbeam is in Gwinnett Place for the long haul, and have no plans to shutter it or quickly sell it.
Shawl—a former retail exec with Colliers International—merged
his property management and leasing company with Moonbeam two years ago when Moonbeam acquired a Wayfield Foods shopping center in Georgia. Shawl says Moonbeam has a track record of transforming struggling malls
. It recently picked up Burlington Center Mall in NJ (above, a mall very similar to Gwinnett Place, Shawl notes) with plans to add "non-typical"
mall tenants such as Ross Dress for Less and Hobby Lobby. And Steve points out a mall in Colorado that Moonbeam bought in 2012, filled with a slate of new tenants and now "setting record sales" through its marketing.