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No word on bank’s plans for mall

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
SALISBURY ó One week after Wells Fargo Bank took ownership of the Salisbury Mall, a bank spokesman says itís still too soon to say what will happen to it.
ěWe want to be thoughtful in considering all options, and weíre just beginning that process,î Josh Dunn, corporate communications manager for Wells Fargo, said.
RowanWorks director Robert Van Geons said Tuesday that the economic development agency has not heard from Wells Fargo about its plans for the property. The bank could choose to sell the mall through a broker or hire a third party to operate it, he said.
Either way, tenants and shoppers at the mall ó which remains open for business ó may not see much of a change.
ěIt is very common that properties sell with existing leases in place and the leases continue to be honored,î Van Geons said. ěIf the owner does choose to sell the property, that does not necessarily have a positive or negative impact on the continued operation of the Salisbury Mall … or the local economy.î
Itís also possible ó but unlikely, he said ó that the bank could decide to develop the property.
At an auction last month, Wells Fargo Bank bid about $10.3 million for the property, which went into foreclosure Nov. 9 after Florida investors Sam and Simone Spiegel defaulted on a $19.7 million loan. The bank took ownership of the mall March 25 after no one offered an upset bid.
Samco Properties, a commercial real estate company the Spiegels founded, bought the mall in 2003 but had not made a loan payment since July 2009, according to foreclosure documents. Wells Fargo has acted as trustee for the registered loan holders, Credit Suisse First Boston Mortgage Securities Corp.
Contact reporter Karissa Minn at 704-797-4222.

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