The sale of the Dick’s Sporting Goods building could pave the way for an Asian grocer and multicultural retail business in Burnsville Center.
Marshall Nguyen, a partner in the purchase, brokered the $10.6 million deal to buy it with a small group of investors and Pacifica Square USA, which has developed the largest lifestyle mall asian country. The group plans to install an Asian grocery store, food hall and other restaurants and retailers on the first floor, while Dick’s and other stores on the upper floor will remain open.
“We definitely want to bring something exciting to the region and be part of the revitalization [of Burnsville Center]said Nguyen, vice president of Caspian Group. “We want to make sure that we bring new, fun and proven concepts from leading markets.”
He said Enson Market would be the first-floor grocer, taking over space from the former Gordman. It is a company that has specialized in the wholesale and distribution of Asian foods and has launched into the grocery business.
The building measures approximately 125,000 square feet, which makes a sale price of approximately $84.80 per square foot. The first floor, where investors are looking to add new businesses, is approximately 65,000 square feet.
Nguyen said Burnsville Center, at 901 County Road 42 W. at the junction of Interstate 35W-35E, is “long dead in a busy area” due to poor management. New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group bought 522,000 square feet of Burnsville Center for nearly $18 million in 2020 after the mall was seized. The purchase did not include some flagship stores like JC Penney and Macy’s.
Kohan has a history of buying up struggling malls in a bid to revitalize them, according to his website. The company lists stakes in 54 commercial properties and two hotels across the country on its website.
Skip Melin of Cushman & Wakefield represented Kohan in the sale and said the company was working alongside the city while considering new uses for the mall.
“We’re going to follow the same kinds of models, to the extent that other malls and centers have, and we’re actively looking to attract experiential uses,” Melin said. “At the moment, the goal is to bring new active and lively tenants back to the center.”
Eddie Ni owns and manages Pacifica Square USA, which operates a major Asian mall in Aurora, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. As of last year, the Pacifica Square Mall had at least 15 Asian restaurants and includes other retailers and entertainment spaces.
Kohan sold the Dick Building around the same time the Burnsville Center’s Chuck E. Cheese site was sold for $2.1 million.
City officials have long considered new uses for the 44-year-old mall that was once a major regional destination. Regina Dean, assistant director of community development for the town of Burnsville, said town leaders have been working to lay the groundwork to facilitate the mall’s redevelopment.
The city conducted a traffic study, an environmental review and applied for a series of grants to develop strategies for implementing new ideas. The area has also been rezoned to allow for wider types of development.
“We’re just excited for what’s still to come. [It’s an] an opportunity-rich space for sure,” Dean said.
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