Bennington Square to be auctioned

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BENNINGTON — The Bennington Square shopping center property is to be sold at auction next month.

The building and about 24 acres of land are scheduled to be auctioned on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 1 p.m., according to a Tranzon Auction Properties listing of the site.

A preview is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 5 from noon-1 p.m.

The property is 55 percent occupied, according to an ad posted in the Jan.18-19 Banner. It contains about 150,0000 square feet of rentable space, including two freestanding "pad" sites, according to the listing.

Seven tenants occupy the space, including JC Penney, Staples, Olympia Sports, Jay's Hallmark, Label Shopper, Burger King and People's United Bank.

Vacancies include the former Kmart space, which is around 55,000 square feet, according to the listing.

"The property is well positioned for lease-up to new market retailers, retailtainment, church or other big-box user," according to the listing.

According to the online listing, the closing for the sale would be within 45 days of the auction, or 10 days of court confirmation of the sale, whichever is later.

The property is also being sold in "as is" condition, with no contingencies.

Sadie Teal, manager of the Olympia Sports in the plaza, said she wasn't told the shopping center was up for auction.

"They don't tell us anything about that," she said.

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When asked how a sale would impact the store, she said that would depend on whether the new owners wanted the store to remain in the shopping center. "[We'll] see how it goes," she said.

Stuart Hurd, Bennington town manager, said when reached Tuesday that he was not aware the property was up for sale.

"I know they've been struggling to find tenants to replace those that they've lost and in a sense, they're an absentee landlord, so maybe it's a good thing," he said. "It's hard to know whether or not this will be good for Bennington."

"But I know they just have not been able to find tenants for the place," he added.

Bennington Square has suffered multiple losses in recent years, as its Kmart, which had opened in March 1979, closed in 2018 and its Radio Shack store closed in 2017. The Maurices store in the plaza has also closed.

Last February, the Banner learned the plaza's Payless ShoeSource store would also close, as the Kansas-based discount shoe retailer, publicly confirmed it would close all its 2,100 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico.

Bennington Square is owned by Bennington Square Partners, of 120 White Plains Road, Suite 110 in Tarrytown, New York, in the care of Juster Development Corporation, the town assessor's office confirmed on Tuesday.

A call to Juster Development Corp was not returned by press time Tuesday.

In an email Tuesday, Samantha Saturley Kelley, vice president of Tranzon Auction Properties, said she had no public comment, and directed the Banner to details of the auction online.

Bennington Square Partners is current on its taxes, according to the town collector's office. The property is valued at $3.65 million, the town assessor's office confirmed on Tuesday.

Work on Bennington Square began April 17, 1978, by Burgess Brothers of Bennington.

Patricia LeBoeuf can be reached at pleboeuf@benningtonbanner.com, at @BAN_pleboeuf on Twitter and 802-447-7567, ext. 118.


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