One of the metro's busiest shopping centers is getting a new owner.
New York firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, or KKR & Co., L.P., could soon be the new owners of The Legends Outlets. They put in the highest and best bid at Friday's auction at $131.5 million. The offer will still need to be approved by a judge on Monday.
The Legends Outlets in Kansas City, KS, has built a loyal customer base since it first opened in 2006.
"I think it's a nice shopping area. There are a lot of different things you can buy, a lot of restaurants. It's a nice, neat area to be in," said shopper Mark Bullock.
Shoppers were surprised to hear The Legends was being auctioned off Friday inside the KCK Federal Courthouse.
"I'm very surprised to hear that because it's swamped over there. It's difficult to find parking. It always seems busy," shopper Floyd Belt said.
"I didn't know that. I'm surprised about it. Why is it being sold?" asked shopper Pauline Gichuiri.
U.S. Bank said the owners of The Legends stopped making payments on their loan in Oct. 2011, putting them in default of their loan of $179.4 million. This led to the bank foreclosing on the note and a judge appointing E3 Realty Advisors, Inc. to conduct Friday's short sale.
Five development groups from across the country spent the day submitting bids to become the new owner.
"It's changing ownership and, you know what, the ownership change could turn out to be something really positive. We're here to help continue the growth that's taking place out there at Village West and The Legends," Unified Government of Wyandotte County spokesperson Edwin Birch said.
The New York Firm KKR partnered with a Kansas City-based firm called Red Legacy to submit Friday's highest bid. The managing partner of Red Legacy, Dan Lowe, used to share ownership of The Legends with the past investors.
Lowe said he sees a lot of new positive changes coming to The Legends to enhance the experience and he does anticipate some new additions.
The mall opened in April 2006. It is part of the Village West area, which attracts more than 12 million visitors each year. Along with dozens of stores, the area features more than 30 restaurants.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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