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Fashion Square mall to be auctioned off next week

Charlottesville Fashion Square mall will be auctioned off next week following the bankruptcy of its owner, the Washington Prime Group Inc.

In June, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following reports earlier this year that it was preparing a potential bankruptcy filing after it skipped an interest payment on its debt.

The company owns stakes in 102 properties, but Fashion Square in Albemarle County is one of five properties Washington Prime Group no longer operates, as it’s in receivership.

According to a notice of sale, the auction will occur at 1 p.m. July 16 at the Albemarle County Circuit Courthouse.

In late 2019, the mortgage loan secured by Fashion Square was transferred to special servicing because, due to the loss of certain tenants, “the borrower notified the lender that future projected cash flows will be insufficient to ensure future compliance with the mortgage loan,” Washington Prime Group said in its most recent quarterly report.

The Woodmont Co. is now managing and leasing the property, which has lost stores, including J. Crew, American Eagle and Zales, over the last year, and many others in previous years.

Fashion Square has been considered one of Washington Prime Group’s non-core properties since 2019. The company has been working to remove the mall from its assets.

Last year, a local property management company purchased the approximately 10.17-acre former JC Penney site at Fashion Square, which had been owned by the retailer. JC Penney closed the store as part of a bankruptcy reorganization.

The JC Penney site was temporarily used this spring by the Blue Ridge Health District to administer COVID-19 vaccines. The health district has since moved its vaccine clinic into the former J. Crew space in the mall.

Albemarle County approved a small area plan for the area around the intersection of Rio Road and U.S. 29 in 2018. The plan helps to serve as a guide for future decisions around redevelopment of the area, including Fashion Square.

Representatives from the University of Virginia and its foundation have repeatedly said they are not planning to buy the mall.


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