LOCKPORT – General Growth Properties, the Chicago-based owner of the former Lockport Mall, plans to sell what’s left of its commercial property on the South Transit Road site.
The Town of Lockport Planning Board met this week with James S. Thew of Thew Associates, the Canton surveying firm hired by General Growth to prepare a subdivision plan for the mall property.
Thew said General Growth wants the property split into four separate parcels: one each for the Bon-Ton, Arby’s, Wendy’s and First Niagara Bank locations.
At present, they are all part of the same 10-acre property.
“Ultimately, they want to divest themselves of the property,” Thew said.
He said the company has found a buyer, whose identity he did not know, for the Arby’s, Wendy’s and First Niagara buildings.
A year after that deal is done, Thew said, the company intends to sell the Bon-Ton store to that retail chain, which currently leases the building from General Growth’s subsidiary, Lockport Mall LLC.
Thew said he didn’t expect any change in the current tenants of the four buildings.
Planning Board member Rodney W. Conrad told Thew he’d like to know who the buyer of the three smaller parcels is before the board acts on the subdivision plan.
“I want to know who we’re dealing with,” he said.
Thew said the new lots would probably need variances from the town Zoning Board of Appeals because of lot size requirements and rules pertaining to setbacks, or how far a building may be from a property line.
In December 2010, General Growth sold most of the mall site to Walmart Stores Inc. for $3.95 million, keeping only the Bon-Ton from the former shopping center.
Walmart demolished the rest of the building in 2011 and built a fence around the site, but construction on the planned new 185,000-square-foot Walmart supercenter has not begun.
Work has been delayed for a variety of reasons, including seagulls that used to nest on the roof of the mall and continue to return to the site. Also, an environmental snag cropped up last summer when petroleum-contaminated soil from the long-gone Montgomery Ward auto center had to be removed.
Town officials said they have no recent information on what’s going on. Walmart media relations did not respond to a request to comment Friday.