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Foreclosed Pittsburgh mall sells for $100 at auction

By Daniel Uria
A 1.1 million-square-foot mall in Pennsylvania sold for $100 at a foreclosure auction Wednesday. Wells Fargo Bank essentially bought the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills from itself in a legal maneuver which will allow it to either rehabilitate or sell the property on its own terms.
 Screen capture/KDKA/AOL
A 1.1 million-square-foot mall in Pennsylvania sold for $100 at a foreclosure auction Wednesday. Wells Fargo Bank essentially bought the Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills from itself in a legal maneuver which will allow it to either rehabilitate or sell the property on its own terms. Screen capture/KDKA/AOL

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- A struggling Pittsburgh mall, once valued at nearly $200 million, was sold for a fraction of that price at auction on Wednesday.

The Galleria at Pittsburgh Mills sold for just $100 to Wells Fargo Bank, which also foreclosed on the property last year, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette.

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The bid was placed by the law firm Dinsmore & Shohl LLP on behalf of a special servicer of the loan for Wells Fargo, which says it is still owed $142.9 million on the property.

The bank essentially purchased the property from itself in a legal maneuver which will allow it to either rehabilitate or sell the property on its own terms.

Mall General Manager Anthony Stephens said operations at the 1.1 million-square-foot mall are expected to remain the same following the transaction.

"We expect the day-to-day to continue," he told Trib Live. "The mall is open and ready for business."

The mall, which is one of the largest in Pennsylvania, was once worth as much as $190 million dollars but plummeted to about $11 million within a decade.

"Basically, there are not enough customers going to the Galleria to support the retailers, so the retailers close," Tom Fink, senior vice president and managing director of market research firm Trepp LLC said. "Whoever buys the Galleria will need to invest significant dollars and change how the site is used."

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