Cary’s oldest mall changed hands this week to a pair of investor with plans for future redevelopment.
On Thursday, Chicago firm Northpond Partners and Raleigh-based Loden Properties teamed up to pay $38.4 million for the South Hills Mall and Plaza in Cary. It’s the pair’s latest in a string of recent investments in the area.
The companies have just begun considering plans to redevelop the site.
“We really focus on high quality locations that we feel are underutilized, and we don’t think there’s any better example of that in the Triangle than South Hills,” said Sam Ankin, Northpond founder and managing principal. “The location is irreplaceable and there’s a wide variety of options for redevelopment.”
The property is situated on approximately 50 acres on Buck Jones Road near the U.S.1, I-440 and I-40 interchange.
The site is split into three portions covering 11 parcels and about 370,000 square feet of shopping center and outparcel retail use. The stores are nearly all fully occupied.
“To have a property of that size with visibility on two major roadways on the border of Cary and Raleigh is pretty special in our eyes,” Ankin said.
The seller, the Martin family, has owned the mall for decades, and earlier this year brought on JLL. The mall dates back to the 1960s. In an interview with the Cary Citizen in 2010, developer David Martin said, “The service plaza was the first thing we built, from 1960 to 1965. It was built with bricks from Cary High School’s dormitory. I had been hired to tear that building down because it was no longer needed, and I reused those bricks for the exterior.
“The bricks inside the mall were handmade by prisoners 150 years ago. They tore down Central Prison and built a new prison, and they just threw those bricks away, so I collected them.”
When they listed the property, JLL Capital Markets Director Sarah Godwin said that Epic Game’s recent purchase of the nearby Cary Towne Center mall property informed the family’s interest in what a sale of their property might look like.
With the deal done, Loden and Northpond are turning their attention to redevelopment plans. Ankin says they’re just starting the planning process and all options are currently on the table.
“We’re going to immediately start working hard on what the next generation of South Hills is,” Ankin says. “Hopefully in early 2022, we’ll be out with a new vision.”
The group has brought on York Properties to manage the property.
The project joins a growing number of deals that Northpond Partners and Loden Properties have partnered on throughout the Triangle.
In Raleigh’s Glenwood South neighborhood, the companies are working on plans to– at the corner with West Jones Street – into creative office and retail space. They had also bought the Creamer property in that part of the city in 2018,to New York developer
Turnbridge Equities last year. Turnbridge Equities is now planninga pair of towers for the site.
In Chapel Hill, Northpond Partners and Loden Properties paid $4.1 million for505 W.Franklin St.in downtown Chapel Hill, home of TOPO Distillery and the former site of the Chapel Hill News.