The South Carolina developer leading the $295 million redevelopment of Boston’s South Bay Center has acquired Woburn Mall.
Edens purchased the 271,260-square-foot property for $44 million.
The sale could prompt redevelopment of the property into a mixed-used community including housing, Woburn Mayor Scott Galvin said.
“We’ve looked at that property for quite some time and feel it has tremendous potential for the city and company that purchases it,” Galvin said.
The 271,260-square-foot complex is among the region’s dwindling ranks of enclosed malls. Built in 1976 and renovated in 2006, it was previously sold in 2012 to MEPT of Bethesda, Maryland for $62 million.
Edens declined to comment on future plans. Galvin said company representatives indicated they will propose housing as part of the redevelopment. He said office space would be another desirable use from the city’s perspective.
Reinvention of the property including housing could help make the case for service upgrades to the nearby Mishawum station on the MBTA commuter rail’s Lowell line, Galvin said. The station was downgraded to a flag stop with weekday-only service after the Anderson/Woburn Regional Transportation Center opened on Commerce Way in 2001. Woburn recently hired the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to study land uses for the mall property and the New Boston Street corridor.
Edens is building 475 apartments, a 130-room hotel, additional retail space and a 12-screen AMC Theater at its South Bay Center in Boston. The company owns 11 retail properties in Massachusetts, including Burlington Crossroads and Middlesex Commons in Burlington.
Declining performance of brick-and-mortar retail space has prompted landlords to reshape traditional enclosed malls.
Boston-based New England Development demolished the inline stores at its Meadow Glen Mall in Medford last year to make way for a 120,000-square-foot Wegmans supermarket scheduled to open Nov. 5.
Park City, Utah-based PECO Real Estate Partners acquired the 732,101-square-foot Hanover Mall for $39.5 million in November 2016. Hanover town meeting in June approved a tax-increment financing agreement to support a $40 million conversion to an open-air shopping center.