Saturday, October 01, 2016

Report: Mazza Gallerie in the process of being sold

Mazza Gallerie is reportedly being traded to New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation by owner TH Real Estate for $80 million, according to the website TH acquired the 294000 SF mall for around $77 million in 2004. Neither party would comment on the transaction, the website reported.

If true, this would be major real estate news with implications for both sides of the D.C. border. The buyer could either invest in major upgrades and new tenants, or this could be a prime redevelopment site. I'm not sure if that dilapidated parking lot adjacent to the mall conveys with the building (perhaps one of our resident real estate experts could weigh in on that in the comments), but even the mall site alone at transit-oriented density should allow a significant high-rise mixed-use project.

I may have the highest nostalgia level for this mall of anybody in the area, but even I have to admit the property is too valuable to not consider every option. Having said that, nearby Chevy Chase Pavilion and Collection at Chevy Chase have recently chosen renovations over redevelopment. 

Wisconsin Place did the opposite by demolishing Hecht's (still better-remembered as the legendary Woodward and Lothrop to some of us) and constructing a very nice mixed-use development on that larger plot of land. Even that project did not fully capitalize on the proximity to Metro, with the residential component confined to one portion of the site, rather than being placed atop all of the retail as well. Nuts.

Mazza Gallerie is located at 5300 Wisconsin Avenue N.W., and right at the Friendship Heights Metro station.


Anonymous said...

The parking lot is a completely separate property.

Robert Dyer said...

9:19: Certainly would make sense for them to try and acquire that piece, then. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

I go to Mazza often to shop at TJ Maxx or catch a movie and have always been mystified by the many empty retail spaces. Williams Sonoma's move to Bethesda Ave was a huge hit, too. It's such a prime location - are the rents just too high? The decline of high-end retail nearby (Chevy Chase) indicates that you won't get the designer shops (Jimmy Choo) because there's not enough interest. I hope they can do a reset, continue with a variety of vendors including some more restaurants.

Anonymous said...

Doubtful that they choose to redevelop the site, the acquiring firm seems to focus entirely on core class A cash flows. They probably just see significant lease-up opportunity.

The adjacent parking lot is still owned by the Mazza family but I believe Lord & Taylor has it under a long-term ground lease.

G. Money said...

Will they bring back the record store in the basement? I need somewhere to play Street Fighter II (other than at home).

Bethesdaguy said...

Per the GM at Clyde's, the rent is too high. Tiffany's is moving to City Place in Silver Spring. Clyde's plans to remodel when the adjacent strip mall renovates.

Anonymous said...

You must mean City Center in DC, bethesdaguy. No way Tiffany's goes to Ellsworth Place in Silver Spring

I hope they don't knock this mall down, the inside is really classy and I enjoy going to that AMC theater on the top floor, it is really empty inside the mall though