Shopping center

A company known as a mall repairman buys an anchored strip from a grocery store in Chesterfield

The 34-year-old mall is anchored by a Food Lion and Bryant & Stratton College. (Courtesy of New South Properties)

Changes are coming to a Chesterfield shopping area following its $7 million sale to the self-proclaimed White Knights of Food Lion-anchored malls.

Earlier this month, New South Properties purchased Cross Pointe Marketplace at 8201 Hull Street Road for $7.1 million.

The deal is NSP’s first outside of the Carolinas, where the Charlotte-based company owns and manages 18 Food Lion anchored properties. NSP partner Will Whitley said he found Cross Pointe the same way they found many of their other assets: with a lead from Food Lion.

“We have a long relationship with Food Lion, so when they have a struggling property, we’re basically their white knights in this case,” Whitley said. “We buy the center, they tell us what the problems (of the center) are. We’re not doing a major renovation of the whole center, but it’s a complete facelift.

An undeveloped plot has been included in the sale, and its new owners say they already have a user interested in the work.

In exchange for improving the surrounding mall, Whitley said he asked Food Lion to sign a long-term lease extension during the sale. He said that was the case with Cross Pointe.

“We have earned the trust of Food Lion. We’ve proven that we’re not just going to step in and renegotiate their deal and not make the center the best it can be,” Whitley said. “We got a long-term extension from Food Lion as a carrot to motivate us.”

Cross Pointe totals 73,800 square feet and is co-anchored by Bryant & Stratton College. The mall was built in 1988 and Whitley said there had been no upgrades in over a decade, with some of the suites dealing with issues such as roof leaks.

The seller in the deal was Texas-based developer AlbaneseCormier, which bought the center in 2015 for $2.8 million.

Other tenants at the center include restaurants like Wah Wah Chinese Restaurant, Bonos Pizza & Subs and Kristine’s Jamaican Takeout, although Whitley said they will be looking to recruit new tenants when the leases expire.

“We go tenant by tenant and determine who should stay and who should leave. The goal is to get better restaurants and retailers that help Food Lion and serve (Bryant & Stratton) students,” Whitley said. “Not a high end specialty center, but should be a great neighborhood service center.”

Whitley said NSP plans to spend an additional $1 million on improvements to the center, starting with repaving the parking lot and adding new lighting, which he says will begin this week.

NSP completed the deal on October 4 and included an undeveloped 1.4 acre outdoor plot at the entrance to the center facing Hull Street Road. They market this as a land lease or a bespoke site, and Whitley said they are already fielding an anonymous user.

“We already have user traction that, if we can pull it off, will have an immediate impact and be an eye-opener,” Whitley said.