Brookdale Center closed its remaining retail stores Monday -- except for Sears -- as a local TV and film producer put in a bid to buy the shopping center and turn part of it into film and music production studios.
Donald Jackson, owner of Maple Grove-based Poor No More Inc., said he sent a letter to Brookdale's owners offering to pay more than the $12.5 million price they paid for the 47-year-old mall at a sheriff's foreclosure sale in February. He wouldn't say how much more he offered.
"Our hope is to create a motion picture production company," Jackson said. "We are also looking at a music recording studio." He said he is trying to find investors or other financing.
Brooklyn Center City Manager Curt Boganey said the city was informed that the mall was asking its remaining stores to leave by Monday. Sears, which owns its site, will stay open, he said. He said he was sent a copy of Jackson's letter but had heard nothing recently from Capmark Finance, the lead owner.
"Capmark's interest is in finding a buyer," Boganey said. "Our interest is in working with an owner for redevelopment."
David Blum, a Capmark vice president, said he received Jackson's letter last week.
"We want to know his capitalization and means to pay for the asset," Blum said by phone from New York. "He has to prove his financial strength."
Blum wouldn't say if any other offers had been made on the mall property, which is roughly 625,000 square feet and doesn't include Sears, the Kohl's lot or the former Macy's store.
"It is my goal to maximize value for my company," Blum said. "I will vet any and all alternatives to find the best way to do that."
Jackson said he would like to open or reopen retail stores and keep a large part of the mall as a retail center. He said he will try to arrange financing by Aug. 3.
One interested party is the Institute of Technical Education, of Bloomington. Institute owner Raj Mehta said he is considering investing with Jackson to expand his school to serve the northern suburbs.
Brookdale's struggles began well before the retail market meltdown. Sears is the sole remaining anchor after Macy's, Barnes & Noble and Mervyn's closed in recent years.
The mall had been owned by Brooks Mall Properties of Coral Gables, Fla., which defaulted on about $52 million owed to three lenders: Capmark Finance, Urban Development Fund II and Paramount Community Development Fund. The three lenders assigned their interests in the mortgage to Brookdale Mall HH, a Delaware company. That company paid $12.5 million for the mall in February.
Jim Adams • 612-673-7658