A New York City real estate investor has stepped in to acquire FairOaks Mall for a fraction of what the previous owner owed on a past-due mortgage, real estate records show.
But that may be only one part of an emerging revised ownership structure at the nearly half-vacant retail center.
Here’s what is known from interviews and a review of numerous public records detailing several complex real estate transactions that have taken place over the past six months.
An entity known as Columbus Noteholder LLC bought the FairOaks mortgage last fall and took over rights to rental payments from existing leases. The investment group is associated with GJ Realty, a company with New York offices on West 37th Street in Manhattan.
GJ Realty is run by New York real estate investor and attorney Gabriel Jeidel, records show.
The company has bought other struggling malls in Leavenworth, Kan., and Bemidji, Minn., in recent years.
Jeidel declined to discuss his interest in FairOaks when contacted by The Republic.
Meanwhile, a separate disclosure form received by the Bartholomew County assessor’s office Jan. 8 shows an entity called New Fair Oaks Owner LLC getting a deed in lieu of foreclosure for the nearly 33.5-acre mall site “for the sum of $10 and other good and valuable consideration.”
The disclosure form also lists a sales price of $550,000.
New Fair Oaks Owner LLC’s key executive is listed as Yeheskel Frankel of Lakewood, N.J., who also was involved in Fair Oaks Mall Acquisition LLC, the previous corporation that owned the mall from 2003 until last year when foreclosure was threatened.
Morningstar, an investment research firm, describes Yeheskel Frankel and partner Menashe Frankel, who had been managing member of Fair Oaks Mall Acquisition, as “opportunistic real estate investors”
who own more than 30 properties nationally.
Attorney Aaron Aft of the Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller, who prepared the New Fair Oaks Owner LLC disclosure forms, declined to explain the relationship among the various real estate entities when reached for comment last week.
Andrew Son, who runs Mark Pi’s China Gate Restaurant at FairOaks, said tenants have been told new owners are in charge of the mall, but local mall managers have not given them any specific names.