Fairlane Town Center mall sold to Dallas-based real estate firm

A Dallas-based real estate firm has bought Fairlane Town Center in Dearborn and may add housing to the mall property in the future.

Centennial, which owns a dozen other enclosed shopping malls in the US, closed on the sale Wednesday, said Carl Tash, the company’s chief investment officer.

The sale price was not disclosed. The former owner, Starwood Retail Partners, acquired Fairlane in 2014 from Taubman Centers. The mall was in receivership at the time of this week’s sale, Tash said.

Fairlane is Centennial’s first property in Michigan. The firm liked how Fairlane is in a good location near major employers and how it is still a viable mall that weathered the COVID-19 pandemic, Tash said.

Centennial envisions making the mall into a “mixed-use” development in the future that would still have shopping, yet also housing and possibly medical-related tenants. The housing could be built in the mall’s parking lot, which is now too big for the number of mall visitors, Tash said.

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“Fairlane Town Center is an excellent investment for Centennial and its partners, and while we will continue to operate it as the popular local shopping center it has long been, our plan is to make it a mixed-use redevelopment in the future,” Tash said in a statement.

Fairlane, opened in 1976, is spread out over three floors, with 125 stores and a reported 83% occupancy rate as of February, according to the city of Dearborn.

The mall’s current anchor stores are Macy’s, JC Penney and an AMC movie theater; previous anchor stores were Sears and Lord & Taylor.

Prior to the pandemic, office workers for Ford Motor Co. occupied the old Lord & Taylor store as well as portions of the mall, although the automaker is no longer using the space.

The mall’s neighbor, the 773-room former Dearborn Hyatt, is to undergo redevelopment as housing after being sold in October to a New York developer.

Fairlane is just the latest metro Detroit mall to change hands this year. In March, Oakland Mall in Troy was sold to a 31-year-old real estate investor Mario Kiezi.

Contact JC Reindl: 313-222-6631 or jcreindl@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter jcreindl. Read more on business and sign up for our business newsletter.

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