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JCPenney store at Sunrise Mall listed for sale

The JCPenney store at Sunrise Mall has been listed for sale. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip–
The financially troubled retailer JCPenney is offering 24 of its stores for sale, including its Citrus Heights location, according to a disposition portfolio released jointly by Cushman & Wakefield and B Riley Real Estate.

The two-story JCPenney location at Sunrise Mall is listed at 200,00-square-feet and 18.1 acres. The property also includes the 25,000-square-foot Firestone property which generates over $263,000 in annual rental revenue, according to the property listing.

Stores can be purchased individually, in subgroups, or as an entire portfolio according to the offering.

Among the locations slated for sale is the first store opened by founder James Cash Penney in 1902, in Kemmerer, Wyoming. According to Business Insider, the 24 stores will be auctioned in mid-September.

A change in ownership of the Citrus Heights location could have an impact on future development plans for Sunrise Mall. Anchor retailers typically own their individual stores, which can complicate efforts to revamp the entire site.

The mall’s majority owner, Namdar Realty Group, previously acquired the Women’s Macy’s building for $3.5 million earlier this year and will likely have an interest in acquiring the JCPenney store as well, although attempts to reach the New York-based company have been unsuccessful.

From May: Macy’s building at Sunrise Mall sold for $3.5M

Kathilynn Carpenter, executive director of Sunrise Marketplace, told The Sentinel in an email Wednesday her understanding is that JCPenney will continue operating at the site “regardless of who owns the parcel.”

“If Namdar buys the parcel it makes it easier to do redevelopment as all owners have to sign off on any plans,” she said. “There are currently 4 owners, so fewer owners makes things easier.”

Meghan Huber, economic development and communications manager for the City of Citrus Heights, said COVID-19 closures have accelerated the trend toward online shopping, and changing consumer behavior will be a factor in the sale of JCPenney. Potential buyers will be included in the development plans moving forward, according to Huber.

The City of Citrus Heights has played an active role working with consultant firm Gensler to incorporate input from the community as well as property owners to develop a long-term plan for the aging mall. Gensler unveiled an extensive plan, billed as Sunrise Tomorrow, in early July that shows mixed-use residential and office, retail and restaurant space, and a community gathering place.

The plan, released in a June 30 online meeting involving stakeholders and members of the community, is currently in the environmental impact review stage.

City answers common questions about vision for Sunrise Mall

JC Penney filed bankruptcy May 15, and announced plans to permanently close 154 stores, according to a previous report by The Sentinel. While the initial closure list did not include the Citrus Heights location, this latest development is a result of a business plan the struggling retailer developed with creditors at the end of July, according to Forbes. The financial news outlet also reported an additional 142 leased locations will be on the auction block.

In commercial real estate, a change of ownership does not necessarily result in store closures, and variables such as income and age demographics in a three, five, and ten mile radius will be significant factors in the future of the asset.

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