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UPDATE * Possible Metrocenter buyer: mall foreclosure unlikely

UPDATE 12/6/10: A Los Angeles real estate investment partnership that owns Jackson’s Metrocenter Mall says it has caught up on the mall’s tardy debt and will avoid foreclosure.

Meanwhile, Jackson Metrocenter Group, LLC, is willing to consider offers from prospective buyers…

Read “Metrocenter owner: Debt paid”.

By Ted Carter

JACKSON — The vice president of a Jackson real estate development company interested in buying the ailing Metrocenter Mall says it’s unlikely a foreclosure of the 1.1 million square-foot retail complex will occur.

It’s expected that mall owners Jackson Metrocenter Mall Ltd. will be get caught up on payments to Los Angles-based First Credit Bank, said Jason Goree, a Watkins Development vice president who cited “back channel resources” for his belief the owners will not default.

If it looks as if that is going to occur, however, Watkins Development wants to make a purchase deal ahead of a foreclosure, he said.

Watkins has been in daily contact with First Credit Bank and believes the foreclosure action in Hinds County Chancery Court was simply an instance of “the bank just following regulations.”

Added Goree: “I would be surprised if the ownership changed.”

Watkins Development already owns the former Belk building in the mall. It believes substantially more investment in the retail center is justified, Goree said.

Conventional wisdom says otherwise, he conceded, but noted Watkins worked the same long-shot odds in its redevelopment of downtown’s King Edward hotel, which reopened earlier this year with a Hilton Garden Inn as well as private apartments.

“They have seen our firm tackle the impossible before,” Goree said.

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About Amy McCullough

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