Triangle Town Center up for auction

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh’s Triangle Town Center is now on the auction block.

Today the first bid for the mall was made and there could be more bids coming in the next few days.

The foreclosure and auction of Triangle Town Center is just another sign of the changing face of retail shopping in this internet age.

When the mall first opened in 2002, there was much hoopla and fanfare.

Now, 17 years later, its owners have defaulted on a 171 million dollar loan and the place is being sold in a foreclosure auction.

Triangle Town Center sits on more than 70 acres of land near US 1 and Interstate 540 and today, its fate was determined in the basement of the Wake County Court House.

Reading from a legal document in the area where they post foreclosure notices, trustee Elizabeth Wright began the process of accepting bids for the property.

The first bid came from the lender who offered a credit bid of $120 million, 371 thousand, 570 dollars and 89 cents.

That offer by the US Bank National Association is not the final bid in the matter.

Others have 10 days to submit a competing or upset bid which must be 5% higher, meaning the next minimum bid has be 126 million or more.

So, how did the mall under up in this complicated legal proceeding?

“Malls are struggling,” said Mike Walden an NC State economist. “The reason is people are changing their buying habits.”

Recent surveys show 60 per cent of millennials prefer shopping online and the demise of huge shopping centers have followed.

“What’s unusual is how fast these affects have hit the malls,” said Walden.

Walden says malls must now re-invent themselves.

In this area, Crabtree Mall is adding an office tower.

Cary Town Center will be adding both office and residential space to its footprint.

“I think what will save malls is that they become more than a shopping destination,” said Walden. ”They need to become an area where residents and offices are near-by.”

Walden adds, “That’s what potential buyers and investors are looking at–can we repurpose this with minimal costs—or do we go the entire way and tear it down and start over?”

If US Bank National turns out to be the only bidder for this mall—what will they do with it? 

CBS 17 posed that question to the bank and is waiting for an answer.

In the meantime—the mall is still open—and you can still shop there.  

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