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Benderson buys vacant Macy's stores at McKinley Mall

Two vacant Macy’s stores at McKinley Mall in Hamburg have a new owner.

Benderson Development bought the stores from Macy’s for $2 million in a deal that closed Friday, the company confirmed.

The sale includes the former Macy’s Department Store and the former Macy’s Home store on the mall’s eastern side. Those stores closed in March as part of a national cost-cutting and restructuring effort.

Benderson will get more than just the buildings, though. The land in the sale includes a 10-acre parcel under and surrounding the department store and an eight-acre parcel under and surrounding the home store, taking up large swaths of the parking lot. The eight-acre parcel is directly adjacent to another eight-acre tract of undeveloped land Benderson already owns.

Benderson said it is familiar with the market, has developed a lot of retail property in Hamburg and owns two properties on out-parcels outside the mall, including Hobby Lobby. It said it doesn’t have immediate plans for the properties, but it didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to buy two large tracts of land for sale in a good market.

Benderson called being next to the mall a good thing, but admitted the challenges facing any future project in the space.

“We acknowledge that backfilling vacant mall anchor space in not easy nor quick, but we’re committed to seeing this through to a successful conclusion,” said Eric Recoon, vice president of development and leasing at Benderson.

Macy’s closed 40 stores earlier this year and recently announced plans to close another 100. The vacant Macy’s stores are widely regarded as albatross, space malls are trying desperately – and in many cases, fruitlessly – to redevelop.

So why would Benderson want them?

“We don’t share that vision. There are unquestionably challenges associated with acquiring sites like this and acquiring parcels that size, especially associated with malls that had anchor closures,” Recoon said. “But we envision opportunity.”

email: schristmann@buffnews.com

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