Shops of Grand Avenue to be sold at auction

The Shops of Grand Avenue in downtown Milwaukee will be sold in an online auction from June 17-19 at

The minimum bid for the shopping center will be $4.75 million, according to the website. A bid deposit amount of $50,000 is required.

The value of the Shops of Grand Avenue has fallen dramatically over the years as the mall has struggled. An investment group formed by New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. bought the property in 2005 for $31.7 million. In 2012 it was sold in a foreclosure auction for $8.5 million to a subsidiary of the mall’s lender, a group of Bank of America investors.

The Shops of Grand Avenue is located at 275 W. Wisconsin Ave. It was built in 1982. It consists of four buildings with 450,000 square feet of space. The sale will also include the mall’s 1,800-space parking structure.

The shopping center has struggled for years with a high level of retail space vacancy. Current major tenants include T.J. Maxx, Walgreens, Applebees, the YMCA and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee continuing education center.

The shopping center is currently owned by a Bank of America commercial mortgage trust. CWCapital Asset Management LLC manages the real estate asset and is selling the property on behalf of Bank of America. Thomas Dobrowski of Rockwood Real Estate Advisors is the selling broker for CWCapital.

The mall itself is managed and its retail space is leased by Mid-America Real Estate.

The auction will not include the Boston Store building, which is separately owned by Wispark LLC. The Milwaukee Common Council recently approved a $1.2 million tax incremental financing subsidy to keep the department store, along with the corporate headquarters of Bon-Ton Stores Inc., in the building through at least January of 2018.

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