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Viking Plaza Mall in Alexandria facing foreclosure after J.C. Penney, Herberger's announce closures

The two department stores are considered anchor stores for the mall.

Viking Plaza Mall in Alexandria is facing possible foreclosure after mainstay department stores J.C. Penney and Herberger's announced they're closing this year. 

Scot Snitker, the property manager for the mall with Lexington Realty International, told the West Central Tribune that a foreclosure notice was filed in Douglas County on April 6. 

Snitker said the mall's mortgage agreement required full payment of the remaining $10 million balance if two or more anchor stores were to leave. 

J.C. Penney and Herberger's are considered anchor stores, thus the foreclosure filing. 

Related: 

All Herberger's stores in Minnesota are closing

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But hope remains for the mall, with Snitker telling BMTN that they have no plans to file bankruptcy and are in discussions with possible new anchor tenants.  

"We are working on financing options and are operating as usual at this time," Snitker said in an email Friday afternoon. 

"We have five possible tenants we are currently speaking with. Two have been on the works since the beginning of 2018." 

The J.C. Penney at Viking Plaza Mall will close May 1, and Herberger's is expected to shutter all of its doors nationwide within the next 10-12 weeks. 

There are 35 stores in the Alexandria mall. Once Herberger's and J.C. Penney are gone, it'll leave Jo-Ann Fabric and Dunham's (139 on the map) as the largest stores by square footage pending new tenants. 

The struggles of retailers like Herberger's and JCPenney comes amid wider challenges for bricks-and-mortar retailers from online shopping.

The impending closure of Heberger's stores will in particular take a larger toll on cities in Greater Minnesota, where the chain had a large presence and where there are fewer alternative retail options compared to the metro area.

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