The Greenbrier Valley Mall was purchased at auction for $1,826,000 by a Washington state-based financial lender.
Richard Ducharme is the chief finance officer for Copper Leaf LLC, the mall’s new owner. He explained to The West Virginia Daily News that the organization expects everything to continue as is.
“For the time being, we are going to be managing it,” explained Ducharme. “We are looking for a local real estate management firm right there. … Our intention is to keep everything exactly as is. Everything is going to continue to run, hopefully, better. We’ll be attentive to the tenants, making sure things are getting taken care of. Ultimately if there is a local buyer, that would be fantastic, we’d love nothing more than that. … Everything is the same as it was the day before we owned it.”
The mall is also expected to be available for anyone with the means to purchase the facility.
“Frankly we’re looking for a local buyer, someone who knows the flavors of the area,” Ducharme said. “We’re out here in Seattle, so we would like to have someone local, knows what works there. We’d be happy to negotiate a sale at that point.”
This is not the first time in the past few years the mall was purchased.
In January 2020, the Greenbrier Valley Mall changed hands twice — first from Greenbrier Valley Mall LLC to Lancaster Holdings for $2,730,000, then from Lancaster Holdings LLC to Greenbrier Valley Holdings LLC for $3,480,000. Both Lancaster Holdings and Greenbrier Valley Holdings are registered as businesses in Delaware.
At the time, attempts by The West Virginia Daily News to reach Greenbrier Valley Holdings LLC through a phone number on file with the Delaware Secretary of State resulted in reaching their registered agent, Harvard Business Services Inc., rather than the business’ owner. However, then-Mall Manager Larry Patton expected operations to continue. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this proved to be the case for several places of business within.
However, in January 2020, another agreement was signed — effective January 6, 2020, Greenbrier Valley Holdings LLC (grantor) and Copper Leaf LLC (Lender) gave Copper Leaf LLC’s trustee, David Hammond, the ability to sell the mall and the 15.475-acre lot it sits on in exchange for a promissory note, “in the maximum principal amount of $2,875,000.”
By August 2021, this would prove to be the case. According to a deed entered on August 25, a foreclosure auction was held, where the approximately 15-acre property and the mall were sold for $1,826,000.
“From Greenbrier Valley Holdings LLC, as grantor, to David G. Hammond, as trustee, securing the repayment of the obligation described therein payable to Copper Leaf LLC, a Washington [LLC], the trustee was authorized to take the actions and make the conveyance,” reads the deed. “[Hammond], by virtue of the authority vested in him and upon the request of Copper Leaf LLC, … the owner and holder of the indebtedness secured by the deed of trust … sold at public auction the hereinafter described real property and property interests, at which sale the grantee herein became the purchaser for the sum of $1,826,000,” reads the deed.
Copper Leaf LLC is a limited liability company based at 17837 1st Avenue SE in Normandy Park, WA. According to Puget Sound Business Journal Reporter Megan Campbell, Copper Leaf LLC’s CEO is Rodger May, who also works as the president and chief growth officer for Peter Pan Seafood, founder and CEO for Northwest Fish Co., and CEO of MayDay Movies.
Ducharme explained why Copper Leaf was not looking to keep the mall long-term.
“We’re not in the mall business. We’re in the lending business. We have varied business interests, but one of them is not managing malls. We’re happy to finance malls, no problem there, but when it comes to the day-to-day running of malls, that’s not where our expertise lies.”
As of September 9, there were no interested buyers, but the acquisition is so recent that no marketing has taken place.
“If you know anybody, any neighbors, looking to buy a mall, let me know,” Ducharme said with a laugh.