Southgate Mall sold to Ohio investment company - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Southgate Mall sold to Ohio investment company

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Main entrance at Missoula's Southgate Mall Main entrance at Missoula's Southgate Mall

MISSOULA - Missoula's Southgate Mall will be under new ownership in the near future, as the current owners sign an agreement to sell the retail hub to an Ohio investment group.

The news comes even as Southgate Mall is in the final stages of completing a two-year effort to revamp the southern end of the mall, with an emphasis on more of a "neighborhood" design and "town center" services.

The Washington Prime Group announced it was purchasing Southgate for $58.5 million in a fourth-quarter conference call with investors on Thursday.

Washington Prime CEO Lou Conforti told investors the Missoula property "really exemplifies our dominant secondary town center focus", noting Southgate has a "catchment", or customer service area covering over 130 square miles across Western Montana and portions of Idaho. He noted the mall's "close proximity" to the University of Montana, it's "diverse tenant mix", and the new AMC theater and soon-to-open Lucky's Market.

Conforti said he'd visited Southgate earlier this month and believes the mall offers a "long term growth proposition" for Washington Prime. Southgate has over 630,000 square feet of leasable retail space.

The deal closes out the original ownership by Peter Lambros and his partners, who opened Southgate Mall in the early 1980s. The company has been working separately to develop additional housing development south of the mall in the future.

Washington Prime was leasing 4-million square feet of space at the end of 2017, with occupancy running in excess of 90-percent. It owns malls in Ohio, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, and California among others.

The Southgate Mall sale is expected to be final in the second quarter of this year.

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