The mall, located near the intersection of Interstate 240 and Interstate 35, was built in 1973 and is 1.2 million square feet. In the last decade, it lost all but one of its anchor stores; the owners couldn’t pay the mortgage, which was held by Bear Sterns; and the property was scooped up by the Federal Reserve in 2009, when the Fed gave JPMorgan Chase the $29 billion to buy out Bear Stearns. The only physical asset in the deal was Crossroads Mall.
Although pieces of property around the mall’s perimeter have been sold since the Fed took ownership — and one of the anchor stores, which are not owned by the Fed, has been sold — the mall itself is still up for sale and the property is being managed by Price Edwards & Company.
Jim Parrack, senior vice president of Price Edwards, was one of six people on the Super Panel Roundtable moderated by Mayor Mick Cornett at the event, who asked Parrack about what’s next for the mall.
Parrack said that although the mall is still operating with 70 tenants, “clearly, it’s a shell of its former self.”
Five years ago, Crossroads could have been re-opened as a traditional shopping mall, but now that’s not likely, Parrack said. Even a future in which the site has a mixed-use function, where part is torn down, may be too risky and too expensive.
Instead, he outlined three likely options.
The first option would be the conversion of Crossroads into something akin to Shepherd Mall or Eastgate Metroplex in Tulsa, where the space is used for offices.
Parrack said it is possible to turn the mall into some sort of educational facility or for health care offices.
The second option, he said, would be to leave it as is and turn it into a discount mall. This would require bringing in an owner with some retail background, and opening nontraditional stores that offer discount goods.
The third option would be to sell the mall for the value of the land, raze the building and re-develop the property, Parrack said.
While these are just possible scenarios, he said, all of the options are currently on the table, and it’s likely that a buyer for the property will come forward soon.
“I think probably in the next few months someone will probably buy it,” and proceed with one of those options, Parrack said. “It is still operating, the current owners have worked hard to keep it open and operating. There’s no endpoint at this time, but it won’t be long.”