JCPenney At Northgate Mall Is Closing

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. announced the closing of four JCPenney anchor locations, including the one at Northgate Mall.

Stephen Lebovitz, president & CEO, said, “One of our most attractive investments coming out of the recession has been to improve the performance of our properties through redeveloping under-performing anchor locations. The opportunities created by the four JCPenney closures announced today fit perfectly with that objective.

“While we have been encouraged by JCPenney’s recent improvements in sales and traffic, we have been anticipating certain store closures to occur. As we said in our most recent earnings call, we have been proactively engaging in discussions and gauging retail demand with this in mind and are pleased to announce strong interest for the locations expected to close in 2014. Our next steps will be to move forward with negotiations with retailers and finalize redevelopment plans. Once leases are signed, we will share specific retail names joining each mall, as well as construction and opening timelines. The list of retailers interested in these specific locations includes sporting goods, arts and crafts and other box retailers, as well as a traditional department store for one location, all of which will enhance the performance of the malls overall.”

JCPenney announced its intention to close four locations in the CBL portfolio at Hickory Point Mall in Forsyth, IL, Janesville Mall in Janesville, WI, Wausau Center in Wausau, WI, and Northgate Mall in Chattanooga. 

CBL anticipates store closures to occur in the second quarter. Three locations are leased from CBL. The Northgate Mall store is leased from a third party and CBL will work with the building owner to facilitate its redevelopment. The stores aggregate approximately 499,000 square feet and $1.4 million in gross annual rent. JCPenney will continue to pay rent until lease expiration.

Mr. Lebovitz added, “As part of our review process, we analyzed the co-tenancy provisions in small shops leases at these properties and determined that the financial exposure is immaterial. The significant and diverse retail demand for each location demonstrates the strength and resilience of our dominant mall properties. We look forward to the improved growth rates generated from these enhancements.”

Officials said, "Over the past three years, CBL has added or redeveloped more than 75 anchor and junior anchor locations to its portfolio comprising more than 2.2 million square feet. Today, other than locations under redevelopment, CBL has no vacant anchor locations in its core portfolio. The JCPenney stores that are closing are all prominently located in their malls with convenient parking and prime visibility, which will facilitate their repurposing. Based on CBL’s extensive track record of successful anchor redevelopment, similar projects have generally required 12-24 months to complete and an investment of $5–10 million generating initial unleveraged returns in the range of 7-10%. More specific cost and return information regarding the four locations will be announced as plans are finalized."


HCSO Looking For Suspects Involved In Check Cashing Fraud

Two fraudulent checks were cashed at separate times on Thursday. The first check was cashed by a heavy set black male wearing a ball cap and white tank top.  The second check was cashed by a skinny, young male who was in the company of two younger black males. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office is working this fraud investigation and is requesting the  public’s ... (click for more)

Big River Grille Employees’ Fight Over Apron Ends In Arrest

A fight over a stolen apron ended in an arrest for employees at Big River Grille, police said. After arriving on scene Sunday night, police said they spoke to two victims who had abrasions on their faces. The female victim told officers that she had confronted her co-worker, Tyree Scott, about stealing her server apron. She said Scott became enraged and attacked her, ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vote For Rhonda Thurman

After studying the Hamilton County School Board quite harshly during the last seven most-tumultuous months in its history, it is only proper that I share my belief that Rhonda is its Most Valuable Player. Four of the school board’s nine members are up for re-election, with Rhonda facing capable opponents in Jason Moses and Dr. Patti Skates in District 1, but let’s never forget that ... (click for more)

Williams Hired To Lead Restart Of Owls Boys' Basketball

Jay Williams has been hired as Ooltewah’s head boys’ basketball coach, a program rocked by a rape scandal last December that eventually led Hamilton County School officials to disband the varsity team and cancel more than half its schedule. Williams, who has strong ties to Ooltewah High School, previously coached at LaFayette School and Northwest Whitfield high schools in Northwest ... (click for more)

TSSAA Sets Future Division I, Division II Classifications

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s Board of Control has released the minutes from Wednesday’s meeting in Hermitage pertaining to football classification period for the 2017-18 and run through 2020-2021 1.  Roll Call 2.  Division I and Division II Classification The Board of Control voted the following for the classification period that ... (click for more)