Spokane Journal of Business

NorthTown Mall acquired in $49 million transaction

New owner hopes to boost occupancy rate at shopping center

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-Erica Bullock
The 1 million-square-foot shopping center is about 80% occupied.

Kohan Retail Investment Group, a Great Neck, New York-based company, has purchased NorthTown Mall, on Spokane’s North Side, says the company CEO Mike Kohan.

Kohan says the company bought it from Brookfield Properties LLC, another New York-based real estate investment company, for $49 million in a transaction that was completed Feb. 11.

Chris Siemens, vice president of Spokane-based Mustard Seed Management Co. Inc., which operates a Mustard Seed restaurant at NorthTown Mall, says he received notice of the transaction on Monday, Feb. 21.

Siemens says he knew of the property going to market, so the news of a change in ownership wasn’t a surprise to him.

“I hadn’t heard anything about these new owners beforehand,” Siemens says.

The mall, which has 1 million square feet of retail space and is located at 4750 N. Division, currently has about 80% tenant occupancy, Kohan says. He says the goal is to improve occupancy to 90% by year-end.

The NorthTown Mall lost longtime anchor tenants Macy’s department store last year and the Sears department store in 2019. Remaining well-known tenants include J.C. Penney Co., Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc., and Kohl’s department store.

According to Kohan, the investment group analyzed the property and recognized it as an opportunity to expand the group’s real estate portfolio into Washington state; the transaction is the company’s first in the state.

“The plan is to bring in new tenants,” Kohan says. “The plan is to try to revive it in a way to bring more traffic to the mall, because that’s a beautiful mall.”

Kohan says a regional manager will visit Spokane soon to get a feel for the community and begin outreach to community members and business owners.

He says he’d like to bring the community into a conversation about which types of tenants the property needs and consumers would want to visit.

“The community is very important for the mall,” Kohan asserts. “We want the community to let us know what’s important to them.”

Kohan Retail Investment Group will employ a mall manager as a local representative for the investment group. The investment group will give vendors that were previously denied space at the mall an opportunity to reapply, he says.

“I want to extend the opportunity to work with them,” he says.

Tenants that will be sought for the mall will include retail and food and beverage operations, “and any other business that can drive traffic to the property. Kiosks, shops, anything and everything is truly welcome.”

A representative of Brookfield Properties LLC couldn’t be reached immediately for comment.

The NorthTown Mall transaction marks the second large mall ownership change in the Spokane-Coeur d’Alene area since late 2020, when a company led by Coeur d’Alene-based Black Sheep Sporting Goods owner David Knoll purchased the Silver Lake Mall, in north Coeur d’Alene, from Brookfield Properties.

Brookfield also owns the Spokane Valley Mall, at 14700 E. Indiana.

Erica Bullock
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Reporter Erica Bullock has worked at the Journal since 2019 and covers real estate and construction. She is a craft beer enthusiast, who loves to garden and go camping with friends.

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