Cascade Mall sold a few months after mass shooting

The Cascade Mall in Burlington, site of a mass shooting a few months ago, has sold as part of a deal between two large California real estate firms.

Santa Monica-based Macerich Company sold the Cascade Mall and another shopping mall in the San Francisco Bay Area to San Francisco-based Merlone Geier Partners for $170 million. The exact price for Cascade Mall was not separated out, though the Bay Area mall is bigger and has higher sales per store.

The single-story Cascade Mall opened in 1989 and includes a Target, Macy’s, JC Penney and several smaller stores next to Interstate 5.

It’s about 87 percent leased and generates sales of $319 per square foot, Macerich said. Merlone Geier, which owns malls and retail centers up and down the West Coast, already owns the Burlington North Marketplace next door.

Merlone Geier says on its website it specializes in redevelopment, but the firm declined to comment on its plans are for Cascade. Malls in general are facing tough times as more shoppers move online.

Skagit County records show the sale closed on Wednesday. Macerich bought the mall for $41 million in 1999.

The Cascade Mall was the site of a mass shooting in September and remains in the news as the suspected shooter’s prosecution winds through the court system. An Oak Harbor man is awaiting trial after he was arrested on suspicion of killing five people, opening fire with a rifle near the Macy’s cosmetics counter, prosecutors say.

It’s unclear whether the shooting has affected attendance at the mall or the price of the property; Macerich did not respond to questions. Around the time of the shooting, Cascade already had a higher rate of vacant stores and lower sales per square foot than the average U.S. mall.

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