Kingsport Town Center is under new management

Hank Hayes • Jun 2, 2016 at 6:00 PM

KINGSPORT — An Augusta, Georgia-based real estate company announced on Thursday the acquisition of the Kingsport Town Center by Kingsport Mall LLC.

Privately-held Hull Property Group is partnering with Somera Capital Management, with offices in California and Washington, D.C., in an attempt to move the 529,000-square-foot shopping center forward.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re delighted to be in the Tri-Cities area and have this mall,” Hull Property Group Managing Principal Jim Hull said of the deal.

Hull, which specializes in managing retail properties mostly located in smaller markets in the South, will manage the shopping center.

The 529,000-square-foot mall adds to Hull’s growing portfolio of retail property comprised of more than 12 million square feet, including 25 enclosed malls across 11 states.

“We are excited for the opportunity to work with various stakeholders to figure out the right path forward for Kingsport Town Center,” Hull said in a prepared release. “Hull Property Group has a programmatic approach to managing struggling enclosed malls in order to achieve a more successful future. However, Kingsport Town Center is at a critical crossroads. We are looking forward to working with local leadership, the community, retailers and others to begin the process of figuring out the right approach.”

Hull Property Group says it has 40 years of experience specializing in retail real estate and a strong track record of acquiring and re-positioning underperforming enclosed malls and shopping centers in small markets. The company self-manages its entire retail portfolio and will oversee the leasing, property management and marketing operations for the Kingsport Town Center.

“Our leasing team will concentrate on tenants that can be successful in Kingsport Town Center over the long term. There is much work to be done to learn about the retail market in Kingsport and surrounding area. The Kingsport community would be benefited by having an enclosed mall that is succeeding. However, the problems impacting the mall did not happen quickly, and the solutions will not come about quickly either,” said Ky Widener, senior vice president of Leasing for Hull Property Group.

The Kingsport Town Center, also known as the Fort Henry Mall, opened in 1976, and has relied on three anchor stores: Belk, J.C. Penney and Sears.

In its heyday, more than 65 stores have been located in the mall.

For more about Hull Property Group go to www.hullpg.com.

Kingsport Times News Videos