Owner seeking buyer for Lafayette Square Mall

Lafayette Square Mall 500px

Lafayette Square Mall is up for sale. And whether the 113-acre retail property remains as a shopping center or is redeveloped into something else will be determined by the buyer.

New York City-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which acquired the mall in late 2007 from Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., has put the property on the market, according to brokers who will try to sell it.

The 1.2-million-square-foot mall on the northeast corner of Lafayette Road and 38th Street is the third-largest shopping center in the Indianapolis area, trailing Castleton Square Mall and Greenwood Park Mall.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity to create something here (that’s) unique,” said Newmark Knight Frank broker Matt Kiger, who is handling the listing along with colleague Conrad Jacobs. Both brokers work at Newmark Knight Frank’s Indianapolis office.

Kiger said his firm hasn’t yet begun to market the site, and details—including the asking price—haven’t yet been finalized.

The site’s location, and the fact that it is in an opportunity zone, should help spur interest, Kiger said. The opportunity zone initiative, created as part of federal tax reforms in 2017, offers tax advantages for those who invest in real estate developments or businesses within a designated zone.

Given the conditions challenging brick-and-mortar retailers, Kiger said, a new owner might choose to redevelop the site into something else. But a new owner could also choose to buy and hold the property as is.

Until potential purchasers step forward, Kiger said, it’s difficult to know what will happen. “It’s just too early to tell where this takes us.”

Ashkenazy did not return a phone message seeking comment Wednesday morning.

Built in 1968 by national mall developer Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., Lafayette Square has struggled amidst a changing neighborhood and a loss of traditional tenants over the years.

In the 1970s, the mall featured six department stores: Sears, JC Penney, G.C. Murphy, William H. Block, Lazarus and L.S. Ayres. Today, the mall’s website currently lists two anchors: discount department stores Burlington Coat Factory and Shoppers World. Three other anchor-size spaces are listed as vacant. Smaller spaces are mostly occupied by a mix of local stores and restaurants, with only a handful of national chains in the mix.

Simon completed $18 million in improvements there in the mid-1990s. But by the time Ashkenazy took ownership, the vacancy rate at the mall was nearly 20%. Former anchors JC Penney, Sears and Macy’s left in 2005, 2008 and 2009, respectively, leaving gaping holes in the once-bustling property.

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24 thoughts on “Owner seeking buyer for Lafayette Square Mall

  1. Great location for a major satellite community with a rail connection to the central business district. The rail right of way is already there. It would be a huge public/private development.

    1. It would be too expensive for the people who would live there to afford, and poorly located for the people who could afford it to want to.

      Take out the rail component, and you have a run of the mill slum.

    1. Justice campus is already being built which will have a jail and courts. No longer need a space for this need.

  2. Given its location along the Interstate, proximity to downtown, along 38th Street – this needs to be a regional development. Whether commercial or institutional, I dont know. But its a generational opportunity that Im sure will be squandered.

  3. I can’t think of a better place in central Indiana (the International Marketplace) where a sporting complex featuring a sport with significant international appeal (soccer) could play a pivotal role in revitalizing the area. If this site is not being considered for Indy Eleven’s $500M investment, I’d love to know why.

    1. From a transportation perspective of getting thousands of people into one spot, this location is terrible. Minimal public transportation service, no sidewalks on the major thoroughfare, etc. etc.

    2. Agree 100% Adam C. The majority of the people who live or frequent that area grew up with soccer or football as they refer to it in their native countries. Infrastructure could definitely be improved or established like new sidewalks. Don’t let that stop them from considering it.

  4. Indy continues to grow as a midwest technology hub. …I’m thinking it would be a perfect spot to create a ‘technology’ campus. It’s easy access from most areas of the city. The increase in the employment pool would be a boost for area businesses.

  5. I believe it is in Atlanta where a developer took a declining mall and turned it into an international shops/stores with restaurants and even entertainment. Jungle Jim’s would be perfect for one of the anchor stores.

  6. I also agree with Adam. Given the proximity to 465 and 65 along with Indy Go bus service and access from 38th street and Lafayette road, it would make sense for the Indy Eleven to invest in this location. Lots of room to expand as well.

  7. I have long thought that Lafayette Square needs to be redeveloped. That area is becoming an international center thus the bigger building could be turned into an international market.

    As well lets build the new soccer stadium there. Plus a couple of hotels. This would add to the attraction that IMS brings as well. Penske might be one to do this.

  8. I think offices or the Indy Eleven is a great idea. Obviously, retail isn’t successful there anymore. It’s also a great place for churches who don’t want to own and or/buy a building of their own. Several yeatrs ago I went there and it felt like a ghost town. An indoor playgound would also be awesome but I don’t know if the people in that area could afford it.

  9. Indy overall needs more jobs, especially higher paying jobs. This is a prime location for access to all major cities in the Midwest. I think our city officials need to do more to draw more quality businesses here. Leveling the mall and redeveloping it for a top rated company or companies would be great. But they’ve even struggled with waterside.