September 18, 2019
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Anchor tenant JC Penney renews Bangor Mall lease, manager says

Mary Altaffer | AP
Mary Altaffer | AP
JC Penney renewed its lease at the Bangor Mall for multiple years, the mall’s new management said. It is one of four anchor stores whose occupancy are critical to the mall’s turnaround.

The troubled Bangor Mall received some good news as JC Penney, one of its four anchor tenants, recently renewed its lease for multiple years, the mall’s new management said.

“I am pleased to report that JC Penney has renewed their lease and will remain a tenant at the Bangor Mall,” Frederick Meno, president and CEO of asset services at The Woodmont Co., said in an email.

He said the lease length is confidential but that it is for multiple years.

Meno, whose company also runs the Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle, said the lease for that store, which expired on Oct. 31 this year, was renewed earlier this year for multiple years.

JC Penney has six stores in Maine. The other four are in Waterville, South Portland, Auburn and Rockland.

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JC Penney spokesman Carter English said the company does not comment on real estate activities.

“However, there are currently no plans to close the JC Penney at the Bangor Mall…or at the Aroostook Centre Mall,” he said.

Woodmont was approved as a receiver to run the mall’s operations, including re-signing and attracting new tenants, by a Maine Superior Court Justice in July.

Renewal of the JC Penney’s lease, which was up Feb. 28, 2019, was one of the milestones industry analysts were watching to see whether the Bangor Mall might be on the mend. The other is the renewal of the lease for Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is up Jan. 31, 2020.

“If JC Penney and Dick’s renew their leases it’s a good sign,” said Manus Clancy, senior managing director for Trepp, a New York-based data analysis firm that tracks commercial real estate mortgages. He made the remark in October, when the Bangor Mall’s appraised value was lowered 22 percent by the city of Bangor from $60.9 million to $47.4 million because of empty stores.

JC Penney, Dick’s and Furniture Mattress & More are the three remaining anchor stores in the mall. The fourth store, Sears, closed in April, and the Sears Auto Center will close this Wednesday.

“We continue to pursue replacement prospects for the vacated Sears space, but it is still too early in the process for any formal announcements to be made,” Meno said.

In a September interview with the BDN, Meno said he believes the best use for the Bangor Mall is to continue as a regional enclosed shopping center.

“As such, the continued leasing focus will be to bring full and off price retailers to the mall and the adjacent out parcels that are part of the mall,” he said at the time.

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