JC Penney renews Bangor and PI mall leases, manager says

6 years ago

The troubled Aroostook Centre and Bangor malls received some good news as JC Penney recently renewed its lease at both facilities for multiple years, according to the management for both malls.

“I am pleased to report that JC Penney has renewed their lease and will remain a tenant at the Bangor Mall,” Frederick Meno, president and CEO of asset services at The Woodmont Co., said in an email.

He said the lease length is confidential but that it is for multiple years.

Meno, whose company also runs the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle, said the lease for that store, which expired on Oct. 31 this year, also was renewed earlier this year for multiple years.

JC Penney has six stores in Maine. The other four are in Waterville, South Portland, Auburn and Rockland.

JC Penney spokesman Carter English said the company does not comment on real estate activities.

“However, there are currently no plans to close the JC Penney at the Bangor Mall … or at the Aroostook Centre Mall,” he said.

Woodmont was approved as a receiver to run the Bangor Mall’s operations, including re-signing and attracting new tenants, by a Maine Superior Court Justice in July.

Renewal of the JC Penney’s lease , which was up Feb. 28, 2019, was one of the milestones industry analysts were watching to see whether the Bangor Mall might be on the mend. The other is the renewal of the lease for Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is up Jan. 31, 2020.

“If JC Penney and Dick’s renew their leases it’s a good sign,” said Manus Clancy, senior managing director for Trepp, a New York-based data analysis firm that tracks commercial real estate mortgages. He made the remark in October, when the Bangor Mall’s appraised value was lowered 22 percent by the city of Bangor from $60.9 million to $47.4 million because of empty stores.

The City of Presque Isle tax assessor reduced the Aroostook Centre Mall’s valuation from $15 million to $8,649,450 for 2018 based on its income potential and current occupancy.

The mall, which is Presque Isle’s second largest taxpayer, paid $384,256 in 2017 property taxes based on a $15 million assessment. For 2018, it will pay $221,425.92 on the new assessment of $8.6 million.

JC Penney, Dick’s and Furniture Mattress & More are the three remaining anchor stores in the Bangor Mall. The fourth store, Sears, closed in April, and the Sears Auto Center will close this Wednesday.

“We continue to pursue replacement prospects for the vacated Sears space, but it is still too early in the process for any formal announcements to be made,” Meno said.

In a September interview with the BDN, Meno said he believes the best use for the Bangor Mall is to continue as a regional enclosed shopping center.

“As such, the continued leasing focus will be to bring full and off price retailers to the mall and the adjacent out parcels that are part of the mall,” he said at the time.