Westport Village shopping center is for sale.
Illinois-based owner InvenTrust Properties Corp. confirmed the news following an inquiry by Insider Louisville.
“InvenTrust Properties Corp. has identified key strategic markets in which we will be concentrating our retail portfolio growth, and we are moving out of other markets,” David F. Collins, executive vice president of portfolio management at InvenTrust, said in a statement sent to IL. “Westport Village is an exciting shopping and dining destination for residents and tourists in Louisville, and we look forward to working with the prospective buyer to provide a seamless transition for customers and the Westport Village merchants.”
InvenTrust operates as Camelot Acquisitions in Louisville. It bought a majority interest in Westport Village from Louisville-based Underhill Associates in 2013. Underhill Associates bought the property in 2004 for $7.4 million; it was most recently valued at $28.5 million, according to county property records.
Through a spokesperson, InvenTrust declined to provide further information, including a listing price and Westport Village’s current occupancy rate.
During the last couple years, the East End shopping center has lost several tenants, including most recently the garden and home decor store Secret Garden and most notably Gattiland, which occupied a 26,000-square-foot building within the shopping center.
Tenants have complained about the management approach the company took with Westport Village. Almost a dozen tenants filed a lawsuit against Camelot Acquisition, claiming that mismanagement has led to a decline in business and increase in vacancies. The suit is still moving through the courts.
Although he could not comment further because of the lawsuit, James Higgins, owner of J Higgins Gallery, said he was happy InvenTrust was selling.
“I think the tenants are 100 percent behind that decision,” he said.
Higgins added that he hopes the new owners will better understand the position Westport Village holds in Louisville.
Chris Zaborowski, owner of Westport Whiskey and Wine, said he only found out about the sale because he is currently renegotiating his lease. The leasing agent for InvenTrust in Louisville informed him, Zaborowski said.
“Ultimately, I’m trying to be really excited about it from the standpoint of hoping somebody local will buy it, so they understand what we are doing,” he said.
Zaborowski was told the company has received 30 phone calls since the property went on the market a week ago. However, InvenTrust declined to comment on how much interest the listing has garnered.