Clovis' Sierra Vista Mall sold at foreclosure auction

Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis and its stores are still open for business, but the bank that holds the mortgage on the property has taken possession.
CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- There's no sign of the shakeup at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis. But according to the Fresno County Assessor's Office, the property just sold at a foreclosure auction for $39 million. The assessor valued the property at $43 million, but debts on the mall totaled $89 million. The lender, a Miami-based real estate investment group, was the only bidder at the auction.

Despite the financial problems, it's popular with the shoppers Action News spoke with. "It's clean, it's under control. There are no skateboarders and all that stuff all over out in front, so it's a nice place to go," said John Noll.

But enclosed malls across the country are suffering. Financial experts say 1 in 10 are in trouble as shoppers move to big-box stores and online shopping. Sierra Vista is also facing new competition from the Campus Pointe center being built next to Fresno State. They fought a long legal battle to try and keep a movie theater at Campus Pointe from opening, citing unfair competition.

Mall management and the local owners were not willing to comment on the foreclosure. But for many shoppers, Sierra Vista fills a niche. "River Park area has a whole lot more to choose from, but it's hard to take two kiddos over there. It's so busy, so it's nice to have this here," said Nancy Pilcher.

The local ownership of the mall -- LandValue Management, LLC -- released the following statement on Friday night:

It is unfortunate anytime a foreclosure occurs, whether it is commercial or residential real estate. LandValue Management, LLC, the entity who has performed property management services for Sierra Vista Mall since 2002, has worked for over a year with the Lender's representatives to "right size" Sierra Vista Mall's loan in a manner that would make the loan work for both the lender and the property's ownership. LandValue Management's efforts while working with the lender to "right size" the loan were always performed with the priority of strengthening Sierra Vista Mall. LandValue Management, LLC, operated Sierra Vista Mall as a first class regional mall for the City of Clovis and the surrounding area served by the mall during its property management oversight period of 2002-2015.

To our disappointment, as of January 20, 2015 the lender was unable to see value in LandValue Management's proposal to "right size" Sierra Vista Mall's loan and pursued their option to foreclose.

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