The Glendale Marketplace, a struggling 2.2-acre retail center on Brand Boulevard, is up for sale.
The center is home to a Mann's Theatres multiplex, Old Navy and HomeGoods stores and more than a dozen other shops and restaurants. It also has vacancies where Linens 'n Things and Marshall's Mega Shoe stores used to be, and in 2011 will lose the four-screen movie theater.
The Borders bookstore at the corner of Colorado and Brand boulevards is not part of the center.
Representatives from the firm handling the sale, Jones Lang LaSalle, did not return calls regarding the price, but a written summary prepared by the Chicago-based firm states owners Eagle Glendale Marketplace and AK Glendale owe nearly $44 million on the property.
The site is 97% leased and 67% occupied, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
Rick Caruso, developer of the Americana at Brand across the street, said he may be interested in buying the site, adding that it has drawbacks.
"Generally I would like to be buying more in Glendale," Caruso said. "I believe in Glendale. The problem with that project is that, in my opinion, it is so poorly designed that I don't know what you would do with it."
It is a sentiment that has been the subject of conversations at City Hall, where Councilman John Drayman has been pushing the idea of transforming the area into an arts and entertainment district.
"This will provide an opportunity for a new owner to reposition the center," Drayman said."That will be a good thing, not only for the downtown, but for our new arts and entertainment district."
Bill Boyd, a commercial broker with Charles Dunn Co., said the Mann movie theater never generated the foot traffic to support the stores, adding that the center suffered because parking structures off Maryland Avenue are not visible from the major thoroughfares.
With the theaters closing, Boyd said, it makes sense for a new owner to retool the property.
Greg Astorian, with ReMax Commercial Tri-Cities, said there are other advantages to listing the property now.
"The timing is right," Astorian said in an e-mail. "We are at or close to the bottom of the recession's bell curve. Circumstances are ripe; the Glendale Redevelopment Agency is far more proactive today."
But, he said, challenges still include a poor lending environment, with investors finding it difficult to secure funds for new ventures.
But despite the Americana and Galleria having more than 2 million square feet of retail space, observers say there is still room for more downtown.
"I'd love to see more retail around us, whether we own it or someone else does," Caruso said.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun