AP NEWS

Cary Towne Center gaining new owner while losing JCPenney

February 1, 2019

One day after JCPenney announced that it will close its store at Cary Towne Center, the mall was sold Friday to an investment partnership out of New York and Dallas.

Turnbridge Equities and Denali Properties bought the property from longtime owner CBL & Associates Properties. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed.

“We’re excited to be a part of the Cary community and the greater Research Triangle,” Turnbridge managing director Jason Davis said in a statement. “We are committed to working with local leaders on a shared vision to reinvigorate Cary Towne Center and ensure it again becomes a dynamic place with a strong sense of community pride.”

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht said he knows mall owner CBL Properties has been working with potential buyers for a while.

“Of course, we are excited about new ownership and the opportunities that gives the site and town. We are ready, willing and excited about helping new owners once a purchase has been made,” Weinbrecht said in an email to WRAL News.

Turnbridge has developed and repositioned properties in New York, Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas, and Miami. Denali buys and develops retail, office, multifamily and mixed-use properties across the Sun Belt.

Shopper Susan Byers said new ownership could breathe life into the struggling 1.1 million-square-foot mall.

″[We need] someone who would invest in the mall. They probably need to update it, invest in it,” Byers said.

Cary Towne Center has been on a downward trajectory for years, losing its Sears store in 2015 and its Macy’s store the following year.

Last year, IKEA backed out of plans to build a 380,000-square-foot store on 20 acres adjacent to Cary Towne Center.

JCPenney’s officials said in a statement that remaining inventory in its Cary store would be sold over the next several months, with the store expected to close on May 3.

“This decision is the result of an ongoing review of our store portfolio, which includes assessing locations that may not meet our required financial targets or represent an opportunity to capitalize on a beneficial real estate asset,” the statement reads.

“They’re like a tradition. It’s been around since I was a little girl,” Byers said of JCPenney’s demise.

“I think it’s been a staple for a long time, and it’s sad to see it close,” shopper Mavis Cooley said.

JCPenney will provide on-site career training to all staff and will provide severance benefits to anyone who doesn’t stay with JCPenney in some capacity.

The closure means only two JCPenney stores remain in the Triangle: at North Hills in Raleigh and at the Streets at Southpoint in Durham. JCPenney stores in Fayetteville, Sanford, Rocky Mount, Henderson and Goldsboro also remain open.

Sears has gone down a similar road, closing its store at Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh in November, its stores at the Streets at Southpoint and Northgate Mall in Durham in December and its store at Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville early this month.

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