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Lender Wins Foreclosure Auction On South Florida Mall With $43M Bid

Plantation’s Broward Mall is under new ownership after a CMBS trust scored the winning bid by paying out $43M in a foreclosure auction.

Plantation’s Broward Mall has been taken over by its lender after the investors in a commercial mortgage-backed securities trust made the winning bid in a foreclosure auction this week.

The 470K SF mall, which was built in 1979 and sits on a 30-acre site, was put on the block Tuesday and sold with a $43M credit bid by the CMBS trust, RSS UBSBB2013-C6-FL BML LLC, the South Florida Business Journal reports

The retail property is located at 8000 West Broward Blvd. The lender sued to force a foreclosure auction last year, and won a $101.4M judgement in April after the previous owner declined to contest the dispute, per the SFBJ.

The property traded doesn't include the mall's anchors, and is partly leased to tenants including Victoria’s Secret, Buffalo Wild Wings and Bath & Body Works.

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the Dutch retail giant, took over ownership of Broward Mall when it bought Westfield Group in 2018. Westfield Group acquired Broward Mall for $53.5M in 2007, according to the SFBJ.

The landlord defaulted on a $95M loan during the pandemic, and turned over control of the property to a receiver: El Segundo, California-based Pacific Retail, The Real Deal reported.

URW is attempting to sell off of its $13.2B U.S. mall portfolio, but indicated many would be handed off to lenders — like in the case of Broward Mall.

"Westfield has already announced it is no longer supporting several assets, and cooperating with a friendly foreclosure process," Fitch Ratings wrote in a May report.

A large number of malls nationwide are still trying to overcome financial instability brought forth by the pandemic, when they were unable to make full payments on their interest or refinance maturing loans.

Many of their lenders have been taking a wait-and-see approach, although experts expect more distressed sales like Broward Mall's to come down the pike.

“A lot have become distressed and remain kind of in what we call 'CMBS purgatory,' which is defaulted but not seized yet. The foreclosure hasn’t finished,” Trepp Senior Managing Director Manus Clancy told Bisnow in May. “But these things have had really long tails, and they just kind of sit out there.”

The only other bid on the property was $11.7M by Oakland Park-based Realtor Eric Nathanson, TRD reported.