Blake Allen, who owns Allen Realty in Manitou Springs, is unfazed by the The Citadel mall’s woes and is buying the vacant Macy’s building in hopes of staging a retail comeback.
Investors and retailers, however, aren’t convinced.
He has been in the process of buying the building since March and hopes to close at the end of July.
Closing the deal has taken longer than expected because nobody has been willing to rent the space, which has hurt his investors’ confidence.
But that has had little effect on Allen
“It’s just a hell of a deal,” he said. “I’m not a specialist on malls, but the numbers — it just makes too much sense not to do it.”
Investors and retailers are wary of The Citadel’s crumbling demographics.
“But they aren’t taking into account the fact that everyone in Colorado Springs still shops there,” Allen said. “The mall’s doing great.”
In March, Allen said he planned to find a major retailer for the upper floor of the 193,000-square foot space and open the lower floor up to create an expansion of the mall and lease the storefronts to smaller shops.
This week he said he might foregoing the idea for a high-end retailer and will settle for a discount retailer.
Allen wouldn’t say exactly how much he’s paying for the building but noted that it’s steal for its placement and that it’s “priced 10 cents on the dollar.”
“This is the best deal I’ve seen in my life,” he said.