[caption id="attachment_226320" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The JCPenney department store at the Christiana Mall will remain after an investor acquired it for more than $15.1 million. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
CHRISTIANA – The Christiana Mall property of the JCPenney department store was recently acquired by an investor for more than $15.1 million as the retailer continues to recover from bankruptcy.Like many mall-anchored department stores, the retailer actually owns its portion of the larger connected mall property. The JCPenney store will remain, but will now lease back the space from the new owner, a joint venture byThe Meridian Group (TMG) and Martin-Diamond Properties.The Christiana store was one of five properties acquired in a $53 million deal on Sept. 9 with former owner Copper Property CTL Pass Through Trust, which was established to acquire 160 retail properties and six warehouse distribution centers from JCPenney as part of its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.The century-old retailer that has become a ubiquitous presence in malls across America, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020. As one of the nation’s largest apparel and home retailers, JCPenney was then operating about 850 stores in the U.S. and employing 85,000 people.The retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Southern District of Texas in May 2020 as it looks to shed billions in debt from its books. Later that year, leading mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management acquired the company for $800 million in an auction.JCPenney has three stores in Delaware – one each at the Christiana Mall, Dover Mall and the Prices Corner Shopping Center near Elsmere.Also sold to the Meridian-Martin joint venture were stores in Columbia, Md.; Annapolis, Md.; Fairfax, Va.; and Springfield, Va.Copper has now sold six distribution centers and 23 of retail properties, generating a total of $868 million in sales proceeds.