Penzeys Spices reaches deal to purchase old Northridge Mall

BROWN DEER (WITI) -- FOX6's partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal are reporting an agreement has been reached for Penzeys Spices to buy the former Northridge Mall property. Bill Penzey says he will move parts of his business into the former mall facility in late 2014.

The Business Journal reports, the deal, if finalized, brings an end to the foreclosure case Penzey was pursuing to acquire the property by sheriff’s auction.

The Business Journal reports Bill Penzey has agreed to pay $415,000 to the Chinese company that owns the Northridge property -- in addition to $50,000 to help pay for past storm water management and maintenance. Penzey will also pay about $245,000 to the mall's previous owner.

Penzey told the Business Journal he has already invested about $800,000 in the property in legal fees, past-due property taxes and a payment to Wisconsin Energy Corp. to buy out its interest in the mortgage, bringing the total investment to more than $1.5 million.

The property was most recently assessed at $2.5 million -- according to the Business Journal.

Penzey hopes to use the building for warehousing, distribution and retail operations for Penzeys Spices.

The Northridge facility has been vacant since 2003.

The property was purchased in 2008 with the intention of turning it into a Chinese wholesale and retail mall to introduce Chinese products in the U.S., but visa problems and the bad economy put a halt to the plan.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett released a statement Wednesday evening, saying:

"I am ecstatic about (Wednesday's) development at the former Northridge mall. Bill Penzey has ambitious plans, and the city will work with him to bring his plans to fruition. The site has been a drag on Milwaukee's northwest side for too long. And there is a renewed reason for optimism. Both the Department of City Development and the Common Council -- particularly Alderman Bob Puente -- have worked to support this effort, and we all have reason to celebrate." 

CLICK HERE for more on this story via the Milwaukee Business Journal.

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