Boulevard Mall could begin foreclosure process soon

Posted at 10:08 AM, Feb 14, 2017

The Boulevard Mall could end up in foreclosure after its owner defaulted on a $92 million loan payment it needed to make last week, according to a report based on industry data.

The report from the commercial mortgage data research firm Trepp LLC says Forest City Realty Trust, the Cleveland-based owner of the Amherst mall, did not make the payment. The $92 million is much higher than the value of the shopping center, according to Trepp.

While the Miami-based special servicer handling the loan, LNR Partners, is likely to begin the foreclosure process, it may negotiate a payment plan with Forest City.

Forest City Realty Trust from Cleveland owns the property and had put the mall up for sale last year.

A spokesperson for Forest City Realty Trust issued the following statement:

"The mall and its retailers and restaurants are open for business as usual, and no changes that would impact shoppers are anticipated.  The mall’s owner is in continuing discussions with the lender."

Like many malls in the United States, the Boulevard Mall has seen a decrease in customers as more people make purchases online.

In January, Sears announced that it would be closing its Boulevard Mall location in April.  Since that announcement, several small shops have closed, or are in the process of closing, including GameStop, PacSun, and 5-7-9.

The Amherst Industrial Development Agency is monitoring the situation.  7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly spoke with its executive director, Dave Mingoia, by phone and has more in his reports.