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Going out of business signs are seen at the Bergner's in Hickory Point Mall in Forsyth. The lease for the store, and the Bergner's at Eastland Mall, Bloomington, will be sold at auction next month. 

BLOOMINGTON — As going-out-of business sales continue at two former Bergner's stores in Bloomington and Forsyth, the stores' unexpired leases are among nearly 230 Bon-Ton-owned and leased properties that are being sold.

A & G Realty Partners is disposing of all of the bankrupt retailer's real estate assets, which include stores and leases in 23 states. In addition to Bergner's, Bon-Ton operated stores under the brand names of Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's, Boston Store, Younkers and Bon-Ton.

The Melville, N.Y-based realty firm was hired by a joint venture between Great American Group LLC, Tiger Captial Group LLC and Bon-Ton's Second Lien Noteholders.

The joint venture acquired the bankrupt retailer's assets on April 18 after submitting the winning bid to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. 

They are among 194 leases that A & G plan to auction off in late June. The lease for the Carson's store at the Cross County Mall in Mattoon, which is owned by Rural King, also is on the auction list.

"But it does not change our proactive efforts in developing plans to redevelop the properties to bring in new uses. Anyone that steps into the leases would be party to all of the term of the lease," said Keating, adding that CBL does not disclose specific store rent information.

"These are standard leases. These are where they are leasing the property from a landlord," said A & G Co-President Andy Grasier. "The new buyer would take over the lease. Everything is 'as is.' Whatever the terms of the lease are the new buyer would have to live with."  

But if an interested party wants additional terms, A & G will work with the landlords to try to get them, said Grasier.

If a lease gets no bids at the auction, it will be rejected and returned to the landlord, he added.

A & G listed the Bergner's in Bloomington at 131,606 square feet with a lease ending Jan. 31, 2024, and one five-year option that could extend the lease to 2029.

The Forsyth Bergner's is listed at 125,455 square feet with a lease ending Jan. 31, 2020, and two five-year options that could extend the lease to 2030.

The minimal cost, or cure cost, which A & G listed as $37,954 for the Bloomington Bergner's and $10,833 for the Forsyth Bergner's, would have to be "satisfied as part of the amount owned to the landlord and sale of the lease.

"If someone is going to just take care of the cure cost, we have no interest in dealing with that buyer," said Graiser. "We have to sell the lease where they are taking care of the cure cost and writing a check to us in order to take over the lease.

"If we get an acceptable offer we'll take it. It's not a fire sale," said Graiser. "This a lot of good real estate creating a lot of opportunity for different types of investments. We want to make sure we give the real estate every opportunity to be marketed, and we can sell it at the right price."

Additional information is available online at

Contact Maria Nagle at (309) 820-3244. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Nagle


Bloomington Reporter

Bloomington reporter for The Pantagraph.

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