WATCH NOW: Fashion Square Mall Auctioned to Lender for $ 20.2 Million | Local company
Hewitt and the lender, whose representative was present via a phone held by the auctioneer, walked back and forth for about 20 minutes.
The opening offer was set at $ 5.3 million by the telephone lender, which was quickly satisfied by $ 5.3 million and one hundredth by Hewitt. From there, the auction turned into a quick game of overbidding between the two parties, as each bid quickly met another $ 100,000 more than the previous one.
Holding their breaths, the crowd watched as both parties proceeded to the auction, with occasional construction sounds permeating the calm of the ongoing retreat near the base of the Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statue.
After offering $ 20.15 million, Hewitt announced that he would no longer increase his bid. After a short silence, the lender raised the bid to $ 20.2 million, thus ending the auction.
The auction was the last event, but probably not the last, in the mall’s tumultuous recent history.
A victim of declining brick-and-mortar retail sales and other market forces, Fashion Square has been losing stores for years as the COVID-19 pandemic only makes matters worse. In June, Washington Prime Group Inc., owner of the mall, minus the JC Penney site, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.