Plans to redevelop Concord Mall advance to Elkhart City Council for approval

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 8:13 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - The loss of “Penny’s” could bring tens of millions of dollars’ worth of investment to the Concord Mall in Elkhart.

JCPenny closed its Concord Mall store in mid-May.

“With JCPenny closing that created a huge opportunity for our company. With Penny’s closing, there’s REA, strictive easement agreements, use covenants on the property that are typically controlled through multiple ownership groups. So, with that going away, it created an opportunity to really reset the table, you know, look at the asset with fresh eyes,” said Jeff Martin with ICP.

The Ohio-based property problem solver hopes to close on the purchase of the Concord Mall in September and then spend three to five times the purchase price making tens of millions of dollars’ worth of building improvements. “So, we’re out there looking for real estate properties that have potential for industrial, light manufacturing, assembly, office, you know, a multitude of uses we can put back into those properties.”

Martin said he believes there’s a sweet spot for industrial uses that are not 300,000 plus square feet, “maybe in the 50,000 to 100,000 square foot range. The Concord Mall has about 540,000 square feet of mall space.”

ICP’s Keith Brandt also spoke today before the Elkhart Plan Commission about the company’s request for rezoning to accommodate the new uses. “Based in Cleveland, we have experience doing this. We are converting these retail projects across the U.S. We have about 50 million square feet right now under ownership and about 150 properties, but this is not our first mall endeavor. This will be our eighth retail property. We started off doing boxes and we have already converted malls across the U.S. Our latest one that we just announced is in St. Louis, the former St. Louis Mills that was built 2,000; I believe that had a rapid decline.”

The plan commission voted unanimously to give a favorable recommendation to the requested zoning changes that must go before the Elkhart City Council for final approval.