By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Real Estate & Investment Business — A&G Realty Partners has been retained to dispose all of the real estate assets of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., on behalf of a joint venture between Great American Group, LLC (a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial, Inc.), Tiger Capital Group, LLC and Bon-Ton’s Second Lien Noteholders. The joint venture acquired the retailer’s assets on April 18 after submitting the winning bid to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.
Bon-Ton’s retail real estate assets include 22 fee-owned properties, seven ground leases and 194 leased locations with a significant amount of remaining term. “These stores are located in well-performing regional markets,” said A&G Co-President Andy Graiser. “The availability of these locations creates a wide range of possibilities for expanding retail chains, as well as developers across the entire real estate spectrum. Opportunities range from traffic-driving stores, food halls and entertainment venues, to healthcare, residential, education and other non-retail uses.”
All told, the retail real estate assets include 157 department stores at regional malls, 39 locations in open-air shopping centers, 16 freestanding stores, as well as nine furniture galleries and two clearance stores. Most of the company’s department stores range from 80,000 to 125,000 square feet, with some as large as 200,000 square feet.
In addition to the stores, A&G is marketing five office facilities and four distribution centers, including a state-of-the-art e-commerce fulfillment center in West Jefferson, Ohio, noted Michael Jerbich, a Principal in A&G’s Chicago office. “These centrally located facilities are ideal for expanding or relocating companies in the rapidly growing U.S. distribution sector,” he said.
Located in metro Columbus, the 1.1 million-sq.-ft. West Jefferson e-commerce fulfillment center is comprised of a 750,000-sq.-ft. footprint, as well as two 195,000-sq.-ft. picking mezzanines. It processes inbound carton freight either manually or through Glaplat Adjustoveyor units. At its peak in December 2017, the facility processed 43,000 packages and 91,000 units per day. “Given the robust national demand for best-in-class e-commerce fulfillment centers, this facility has already generated tremendous interest from several national brands and retailers,” Jerbich noted.
With roots dating back to 19th-century Pennsylvania, Bon-Ton Stores filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 4 (Case No. 18-10248). The company’s assets include stores and leases in 23 states stretching across the Northeast, Midwest and upper Great Plains, from Idaho to New Hampshire. In addition to its eponymous nameplate, Bon-Ton operated historic department stores such as Boston Store, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s, and Younkers.
The joint venture between Great American and Tiger Group is currently liquidating all Bon-Ton inventory as well as most other assets, including furniture, fixtures and equipment. “As this process winds down toward the end of June, A&G will conduct an auction of all remaining Bon-Ton leaseholds,” Jerbich noted. “We have already fielded a significant number of inquiries since the liquidation was announced, and we anticipate continued, strong interest from both strategic and opportunistic buyers.”
A&G Realty is known for conducting sales of owned and leased real estate assets involving household names in retail. Clients have included Sports Authority, Office Depot, CVS, Supervalu, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Pier1 Imports, Radio Shack and Orchard Supply, to name a few. The firm maintains offices in Melville, N.Y., Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia.