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— The fate of the troubled University Mall in midtown Little Rock has been decided: A developer will come in, knock it down and build an open-air "lifestyle center" in its place.

The mall has been sold to Strode Property Co. of Dallas, led by Jim Strode, under the name of SPC Park Avenue Limited Partnership for an undisclosed sum. Strode was the developer of the recently opened Midtowne Little Rock retail center near University Mall.

"Like Midtowne, my hope is for Park Avenue to bring new life to the University Avenue corridor and continue the ongoing redevelopment efforts of Little Rock's central area," Strode said in a news release.

The lease on the land with Simon Property Group Inc. will be transferred to the new owner, said Steven Shults, attorney for the land sellers. Simon, which built the mall and has managed it, is appealing a ruling in a lawsuit that has dragged on in federal court for three years and now appears to be coming to an end.

For more information see today's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Subscribers can read the story here on ArkansasOnline.

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