Brady Sullivan to buy shopping centers in KeeneBy MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent
February 03. 2014 10:25PM
KEENE — The historic Colony Mill Marketplace and adjacent shopping center The Center at Keene are set to be revitalized as a new owner is ready to step in.
Manchester-based Brady Sullivan Properties plans to purchase and revitalize the two struggling shopping centers.
Brady Sullivan Properties principal partner Arthur Sullivan said Monday the company hopes to close on the properties this week.
The adjacent shopping centers have been struggling to maintain tenants since being placed in receivership four years ago after the previous owner Mayo Seven LLC defaulted on its mortgage payments.
Redevelopment of old mill buildings in New Hampshire and Rhode Island is a specialty of Brady Sullivan, and though the Colony Mill has struggled to maintain tenants in recent years, Sullivan said retail space is the perfect use for the building.
Because a court-appointed property firm was handling the building since it went into receivership, tenants have not been getting the attention they need from management, Sullivan said.
Sullivan said he has already been contacted by former tenants of the Colony Mill that want to return after Brady Sullivan purchase the property.
"We have actually a lot of tenants that used to be there that want to come back, which is fantastic," Sullivan said. "They really enjoyed being there, and they'd really like to have the opportunity to come back there."
The lack of management, attention to detail and maintenance is what drove these tenants away, Sullivan said.
The approximately 200,000-square-foot building is about half full, he said. Sullivan said he believes Brady Sullivan can lease out about 50,000 square feet to new and former tenants in the first six months of ownership.
"We do own a lot of mills in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. It's something we're really good at repositioning," Sullivan said. "It just needs an emphasis on the property to bring the tenants back in, and we are really excited to bring it alive again."
The Colony Mill was originally built in 1775 as a saw and grist mill. The mill was converted into retail space in the 1980s. The city currently assesses the property at $4.6 million.
The Center at Keene was built in the late 1980s and is assessed at $5.1 million.
Sullivan said he did not want to discuss the purchase price of the properties before closing the sale.