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Chinese firm buys The Source mall for use as retail ‘showroom’

The Source mall in Westbury, seen here on

The Source mall in Westbury, seen here on May 6, 2013, has found a buyer, according to brokerage officials representing the buyer. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

The Source mall in Westbury has found a buyer, according to brokerage officials representing the buyer.

A Chinese company plans to use an unspecified portion of the 552,000-square-foot property as a “retail type showroom” for building products, construction materials, home furnishings, lighting and appliances, said Brian Lee, principal at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the firm representing the buyer.

The name of the buyer and the purchase price were not disclosed. The sale is expected to close at the end of May, Lee said. “The intent, I believe for this, is to keep the structure,” he said. “I don’t believe it’s to demolish it.”

It’s unclear what effect the purchase would have on the mall’s few remaining tenants.

As of late last year the property, originally built in 1996 for $200 million, carried an unpaid loan balance of $124 million, according to Trepp LLC, a Manhattan-based tracker of commercial mortgage-backed securities.

In November, Jeremy Isaacs, a leasing agent for the site, said special servicers for the mall decided to market the property for sale, and said that a mixed-use project there could support retail, residential or even some medical office space.

Special servicers are firms hired to handle collections on delinquent mortgages.

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