Opportunity for Lafayette Square?

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Could losing three of four anchors in a year’s time actually have a bright side for Lafayette Square Mall? Broker Clint Fultz thinks it might. The property has always been a "crazy quilt of ownership" in which many of the anchors owned their stores. The departure of Macy’s, Sears and Steve & Barry’s could give the owners, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., a chance to completely redevelop the property. "That’s not a bad stretch of real estate by any stretch of the imagination," Fultz said. One challenge will be holding on to small tenants, many of which may have lease clauses that let them leave if anchors bolt.

The photo above (from retail blog Labelscar) shows a mall directory from the 1970s. The Sears is scheduled to close Jan. 11. Macy’s (formerly L.S. Ayres) just announced plans to close (story is here). The Lazarus space now is home to the mall’s lone remaining anchor, Burlington Coat Factory. Steve & Barry’s was in the G.C. Murphy space. J.C. Penney left in 2004 and was recently replaced by Shoppers World. The Block’s space is now a family-entertainment center called Xscape.

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