Old Lafayette Village foreclosed on, no bidders
LAFAYETTE — An attempt to sell the Olde Lafayette Village mall failed this past Friday at a public auction, leaving the future of the mall in doubt.
Flushing Savings Bank foreclosed on the property, after the mall's previous owners defaulted on $6.9 million worth of debt.
According to the Sussex County Sheriff's Office, which oversaw the foreclosure auction on Friday, the bank offered to sell the bank for $4.1 million, but there were no takers.
The Lafayette House restaurant will continue to operate regardless of whose hands the mall goes to next. The restaurant's owners, the Frey family, also own the building and have a 60-year lease on the property.
Manager and co-owner Stacey Frey said there has been no communication from the bank as to the future of the mall since the foreclosure sale.
"We have not heard anything," she said.
Bass and VanHeusen outlet stores are two of the more popular businesses at the mall. Both are advertising clearance sales.
Other stores include Loho Living, a home furnishing store; Weight Watchers; Bonworth, a clothing store; Religo Designs, a jewelry store; Superior Bathworks; The Christmas Shoppe; Lawlor's Music Emporium;
On Monday, several diners at the restaurant took a stroll around the mall property, where half of the buildings are empty.
"We used to come here all the time," Jack Phlegar of Newton, said. "Everything seems to be empty."
Tina Sugar of Newton said the family enjoys eating the prime rib at the restaurant. She still likes shopping at Bass.
"I remember the car shows we used to have here," said her husband, Anthony. He used to bring his 1971 Oldsmobile convertible to the shows.
Phlegar, who owns a pet store in Franklin, used to like going into the cigar store, which is still open.
Sugar said he thinks the mall's problems are related to the economy.
"People are just not working. They can't afford to spend money," he said.
"With the economy, nobody's got any money," Phlegar said.
Phlegar thinks $4 million might not be a bad deal for the mall property.
"There is a lot here for $4 million," he said.
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