New Lincoln Mall owner seeks continued improvement

New Lincoln Mall owner seeks continued improvement

An aerial view of the Lincoln Mall property taken from Google. New owners New York-based Acadia Realty Trust say they hope to update the current tenant mix by filling vacancies, adding that the “thriving opportunities (are) on the outside of the mall, with the tenants facing the parking lot.”

LINCOLN – The new owners of the Lincoln Mall say they’re looking to identify the property’s current success stories to develop a strategy for continued improvement after purchasing the mall for roughly $56 million last month.

New York-based Acadia Realty Trust, listed in property records as “Lincoln Mall Owner LLC,” bought the property from MB Lincoln Mall LLC, a subsidiary of Highlands REIT Inc., which had owned it since 2006.

The mall has undergone a significant transformation since then, with many smaller interior tenants closing up shop and less traditional tenants such as CW Lanes and Games moving in to replace them.

Acadia Executive Vice President and COO Christopher Conlon told The Valley Breeze that his company “tracked the mall property for a while and felt very fortunate that we were able to buy it,” calling it a “solid asset in what seems to be a bit of its own trade area.”

Conlon said the mall does not compete with many other retail centers in the sub-market, further noting the property’s “well-established shopping patterns.”

The company saw some opportunity in the mall’s larger vacancies left by Mattress Firm, Payless, and more recently, Dress Barn and Party City.

“Those closings have nothing to do with the property, but the corporate reality within those companies,” he said. The company hopes to update the current tenant mix in filling those vacancies.

Lincoln’s Party City is one of dozens of store locations closing due to a global helium shortage.

“In regards to tenant movement, we’ll take our time and figure out the right lineup,” said Conlon. “We think we can re-stabilize the property pretty quickly and see opportunity to thrive there.”

Current success stories include shops such Marshalls, “low-priced concepts” such as Five Below, Stop & Shop supermarket and a “terrific movie operation” in Cinemaworld, he said.

The goal is to continue encouraging a healthy balance of discount shopping, necessity-based retail and food and entertainment options, Conlon said.

With the primary focus on the exterior spaces fronting the parking lot, Conlon said he expects the interior portion of the mall to pose more of a challenge. Right now, its primary purpose is to serve as an entrance to the movie theater and to Lincoln Technical Institute.

“We’re looking to creatively sell it,” he said, but the company does not have an exact strategy for the mall’s interior to share at this time.

“We see the real thriving opportunities on the outside of the mall, with the tenants facing the parking lot,” he added.

As shopping centers evolve, Conlon said Acadia has considered less traditional tenants to add to the mix. There are no plans to move Lincoln Tech off the property, which Conlon said is a great use for vacant space.

“The school drives traffic there daily and fills a community need. We feel it belongs there,” he said.

Asked whether they’d consider adding office space, Conlon said they don’t consider it to be in the office market, however a medical or wellness concept might be appropriate.

While Acadia is in the new construction business, he does not anticipate new construction happening. The vacant spaces will be “refreshed” to help attract new tenants.

“We’ll do a complete dive to see where the success lies,” he said. “We’re already working on replacement tenants that complement that success.”


Resurrect of the Dream Machine!!! Bring it!