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3-day bankruptcy auction underway for DeSoto Square mall

A three-day bankruptcy auction for the DeSoto Square mall property kicked off on Tuesday.

The mall property had been headed to a foreclosure sale in September 2021, when mall owners declared bankruptcy in New York, sending the case to the Eastern District Court of New York.

CBRE is offering the 58-acre mall property at 303 301 Blvd. W. for sale Oct. 12-14 with a pitch to developers and investors as “an incredibly well located piece of real estate at a major highway interchange in a strong Florida metro market with various opportunities for redevelopment.”

The owners of the mall purchased the property in April 2017 for $22,850,000 and announced a series of planned improvements, most of which failed to materialize. The mall owners still owed $21,789,102 when lender Romspen U.S. Master Mortgage LP, a Cayman Islands limited partnership, filed to foreclose on the property in 2018.

The owners’ unpaid balance grew to more than $30 million because of mounting interest charges, according to court records. In the interim, mall owners submitted plans to Manatee County government to demolish most of the mall property and redevelop it over a 10-year period.

Those plans would replace the demolished buildings with 128,514 square-feet of retail-lifestyle space, a 40,000 square-foot grocery, 90,000-square-feet of office space and three retail out parcels totaling 16,250-square feet. Also planned are about 900 residences.

9/24/2020–A three-day bankruptcy auction for the DeSoto Square mall property kicked off on Tuesday. File photo by Tiffany Tompkins

DeSoto Square mall, built by former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, opened in 1973 with JC Penney and Sears as the two original anchors. In 1992, Dillard’s becomes the third major anchor, and in 2003, Burdines opened as fourth anchor. Two years later, Burdine’s became Macy’s.

For more information about the bankruptcy sale, visit

This story was originally published October 12, 2021 3:43 PM.

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James A. Jones Jr. covers business news for the Bradenton Herald. Drafted into the Army in 1966, he served in the Vietnam War as a Signal officer. He is the author of “Oh, Darling!” Choices and Struggle in the Age of Sputnik, the Vietnam War and the New Millennium.”
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