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Midway Mall Payless to close as parent company restructures in bankruptcy

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ELYRIA – The Midway Mall Payless ShoeSource will be one of three northeast Ohio locations to immediately close as the retailer filed for bankruptcy protection.

Payless will close 400 underperforming locations in the U.S. and Puerto Rico and work to aggressively manage the remaining stores in an effort to cut its debt load, the company announced Tuesday.

Payless locations at Chapel Hill Mall in Akron and Vineyard Plaza in Eastlake also will close. In total, Ohio will see 12 closures.

Payless filed for Chapter 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in St. Louis.

The controllers of Midway Mall – The Woodmont Co., a Texas-based asset management company, and LNR Property, a Florida-based real estate investment and management company – are looking for new owners for the shopping center with a sale date as soon as this year.

In anticipation of the change over, Mayor Holly Brinda commissioned Jeff Green Partners and the Hoffman Strategy Group to develop of best uses strategic plan for the 1.1 million-square-foot regional shopping mall.

The proposal, which will be marketed to any potential new owners, suggests Midway Mall rightsize by reducing to about half -- or roughly 530,000 square feet -- and transform into a new town center-like attraction with new high-end apartments, another hotel and more office space.

During the November presentation to City Council, Jeff Green said several retailers this year will be vulnerable because of the changing retail market.

Since then, JC Penney announced the closure of 138 of its stores. The Midway Mall location was not on the list.

Sears likewise announced a wave of store closures and a list provided by the retailer also saves the Midway Mall location.



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