After years of trying, Algoma Central Corporation has finally sold the Station Mall in Sault Ste. Marie.
SooToday has learned that a Markham-based company—SM International Holdings Ltd.—purchased the downtown shopping mall for $30-million. The deal closed last Thursday, according to documents filed with the provincial land registry office.
It is not clear what the new owner plans to do with the city's largest mall, located at 293 Bay St. SooToday has reached out to the buyer and will provide updates when new information emerges.
Algoma Central built the waterfront mall in the early 1970s (when the company was still known as Algoma Central Railway) and acted as the landlord for nearly half a century.
Now based in St. Catharines, the company's primary focus has shifted to marine shipping; it owns and operates the largest fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers operating on the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Waterway.
In 2015, the publicly traded company (TSX: ALC) announced plans to sell all of its commercial real estate. But finding a buyer for the Station Mall proved difficult, especially after Sears pulled out as the main anchor tenant in 2017.
Gregg Ruhl, Algoma Central's president and CEO, has yet to reply to a request for comment.
According to the land registry documents, SM International Holdings paid $12-million in cash for the property and mortgaged the remaining $18-million from Algoma Central, at an annual interest rate of 5.5 per cent.
SM International Holdings Ltd. was incorporated on Jan. 8, according to documents filed with the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. The company has two directors: Yeung Mou and Renxi Ouyang, both of Markham.