The West Oaks Mall $87 Million Backward Flip

Who was it again that bought the West Oaks Mall out of bankruptcy earlier this month, for the bargain price of $15 million? Just an L.A. investment group called Pacific Retail Capital Partners. That firm’s principals, then with a company called Somera Capital, are the same people who sold the 1.1-million-sq.-ft. mall at Westheimer and Hwy. 6 in 2005 to Investment Partners of America, the “investment” vehicle of high-rolling 1031 Exchange king Edward H. Okun, after a quick 2-year spiff-up.

Okun paid Somera $102 million. Yes, that Edward H. Okun.

This time, the mall’s a whole lot cheaper, but it’s not in such good shape, either. Mervyn’s and J.C. Penney are gone. The rest of the mall is at 60 percent occupancy. “Over the past couple of years, several tenants tried to renew,” Somera Capital’s (and now Pacific Retail’s) Stephen Plenge tells Globe St., “and no one would return their phone calls.” The new owners say the Mervyn’s wing is likely to be redeveloped.

Photo of West Oaks Mall visitors: Joel Barhamand

5 Comment

  • If West Oaks were say at the corner of FM 1092 and the Grand Parkway it wouldn’t be in this situation.

    The location is just too close to Memorial City and Town and Country.

    On top of that, the demographics circle usually used to lure stores to the mall pulls a lot of lower incomes from south of the Westpark Tollway. Another part of the circle pulls in the reservoir. That doesn’t give good enough numbers to want to invest in placing a business there.

    The location isn’t also easy to reach for people that may travel from other parts of the city. Memorial City, First Colony are easier for much of Cinco Ranch and the northwest burbs to get to using the Grand Parkway and I-10.

  • wow great story!!! An 85%+ drop. only in America

  • Sadly, this mall is in the ghetto :(

  • For the right price, anything can be managed. It’ll be interesting to see if they can make something productive out of this. I wouldn’t want to mess with something in that area, but there are still a lot of people in the area the right organization can pull in.

  • As someone who grew up in what is apparently now the “ghetto” I’m glad to see that someone has purchased it. While close to Town & Country and Memorial City it’s always pulled in a different clientele – it wasn’t Memorial City but it was never Sharpstown either. I have to suspect there’s some opportunity in pursuing the middle ground. It’s always where West Oaks seemed to do the best.