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River Oaks Center mall sold

Shoppers pack Macy's main floor on Black Friday 2014 at the River Oaks Center mall in Calumet City. The mall has been sold to Namdar Realty.

CALUMET CITY — The sale of River Oaks Center was finalized last week, according to both the buyer and former owner Washington Prime.

Masson Asset Management Inc. in combination with Namdar Realty Group has bought the mall, but company President Elliot Nassim offered no details other than to confirm the purchase when contacted via email on Tuesday.

Namdar Realty Group, of Great Neck, New York, owns numerous shopping malls, plazas and office buildings in eastern and Midwestern states. Namdar was identified by Washington Prime earlier this year as the company interested in purchasing the mall.

“We’re moving forward with developing and implementing our economic development strategy for all of Calumet City and view this as an opportunity for new investment in the property,” Calumet City Economic Development Coordinator Pete Saunders said in January. “We look forward to working with the new owners to serve as a catalyst for commercial revitalization throughout the city.”

The mall, which opened in 1966, has two vacant anchor storefronts. Carson Pirie Scott and Sears both closed their River Oaks locations in 2013. The River Oaks Theatre closed in 2008.

Department stores Macy’s and J.C. Penney still anchor the shopping center and the Washington Prime website listed Kay Jewelers, The Children’s Place, Rue 21, Express, FYE and Victoria’s Secret as other “key retailers” before the page was taken down due to the property’s sale.

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J.C. Penney announced Friday it will close between 13 and 14 percent of its stores without announcing which locations would shutter.

Kimberly Green, Washington Prime’s director of corporate communications, said the Calumet City mall was one of seven properties the company determined to be “non-core” in late 2015.

“Longer term, it’s just not where we want to be,” Green said. “The real estate is still valuable. But a new owner can come in and see what’s needed.”

Washington Prime began looking for buyers last year.

Earlier this year, Saunders said the sale had caught the city by surprise. He said Washington Prime was meeting regularly with Calumet City officials, most recently to discuss security plans for the holiday season.

“We welcome the opportunity for fresh eyes with strong commercial development experience to put their stamp on River Oaks,” Saunders said.

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