Towne West Square gets new owner

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Towne West Square, called a "ghost town" by a tenant manager less than a year ago, has sold to a New York investment group for $14 million — far less than a $44.8-million loan on the property.

Kohan Retail Investment Group, of Great Neck, N.Y., has purchased the mall and bills itself as a redeveloper of aging malls nationally. It lists 27 malls on its website, including Towne West.

The sale, which sells the collateral behind the loan on the mall, is the latest chapter in the saga of the 39-year-old mall located at Kellogg and I-235.

Almost a year ago, Wells Fargo filed a petition in Sedgwick County District Court to essentially call in its note on a $51 million loan to Washington Prime Group, the then-owner of the mall. Washington Prime had missed $28,000 monthly payments.

In January, the value of the 448,760 square-foot portion of the 945,000 square-foot mall being used as collateral decreased from $81 million at securitization to $15.9 million. In February, papers were filed transferring the mall to Wells Fargo.

According to Commercial Real Estate Direct, the current loan was listed as more than 90 days delinquent.

Dick's Sporting Goods remains one of the mall's largest tenants, along with Dillard's Clearance Outlet and PetSmart, located in a standalone building southeast of the mall. Sixty-two businesses are listed as Towne West tenants on Kohan's website.