By Dan Spalding
WARSAW — A national company specializing in shopping center redevelopment is acquiring the Marketplace of Warsaw shopping center that’s been decimated by closings in recent years.
Mayor Joe Thallemer said he met with representatives of the company Thursday, Aug. 26, about their interest in acquiring the shopping center near East Center Street and US 30.
The property has been in foreclosure. The current owner, according to Beacon.com, is Farbman Group, of Southfield, Mich.
A spokesperson for the Georgia company on Friday, Aug. 27, confirmed they are in the process of acquiring the property, but asked not to be identified immediately until more plans are in place.
He declined to discuss any potential tenants for the property but said an announcement could come within weeks.
Thallemer said they have started discussions and are looking at how the city may “facilitate” the company’s investment.
He said he’s aware that whoever acquires the property will need to make some repairs but did not go into details.
Thallemer declined to discuss further details about the possible acquisition, saying he wants “to be respectful of their process.”
The Marketplace of Warsaw is one of three shopping centers along the south side of US 30 in Warsaw and all three have struggled to retain their tenants.
Changes in the brick and mortar retail sector in recent years – bankruptcy, online shopping, the pandemic and staffing struggles – have had an impact on shopping centers across the country, and Thallemer said those “broad market concerns” have reverberated through Warsaw.
Interest in investing in the shopping center, which was developed in the late 1980s, is significant, he said
“That’s big, that tells us there is a need here … we’re just happy that we’re on somebody’s radar,” he said.
Thallemer said he expects there to be some developments in the next few months.
Less than half of the storefronts are empty. Among the stores that closed are Carson’s, Pier 1 and Sears.
The center is still home to Dunham’s Sporting Goods, Wire & Steam coffee shop, a Subway, the BMV and several other stores. Burger King, located at the front of the shopping center, recently finished an entire reconstruction.