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Jerome Karam Portfolio Property Mall of the Mainland to Open New Storage Facility

FRIENDSWOOD, TX / ACCESSWIRE / November 5, 2018 / Jerome Karam's Mall of the Mainland has broken ground and is set to open the new facility in early 2019. Jerome Karam, an attorney who has gained a reputation for developing under-utilized buildings, is planning to turn the former J.C Penney building into an indoor climate controlled storage with more than 600 units.

Jerome M. Karam is an attorney based in Friendswood, Texas. He practices personal injury law and business litigation. He is also the owner of JMK5 Holdings LLC also located in Friendswood. Through his JMK5 Holdings LLC, he has successfully renovated several buildings including the Hendley Building and the Mall of the Mainland.

Competitive Offer

Karam purchased the Mall of the Mainland with partner Chris Malooly in January 11th, 2015. The partners converted the 150,000 square foot building into a competitive lease space. He told the Houston Chronicle that he intends to make it more competitive by offering "1980s" prices.

The old Mall of the Mainland was opened in 1991 by several partners who were anchored by JCPenny, Sears, and Cinemark Movies 12 among others. The ownership of the mall changed hands several times between 1991 and 2002.

Even though the first owners developed it into a high-quality mall and spent $200 per square feet to refurbish it, it was eventually acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase in 1997. The bank was the lender of the group of developers who were working on the building prior to this time.

Unfortunately, the bank had no interest in developing the building further. In 2002 Houston chronicles noted that while the developers failed to turn it into a "highly successful retail venture," the lender who took over the building did not make any significant renovations and that the mall suffered from being "institutionally owned."

Change of Ownership

Between November 2002 and 2006, the mall realized some level of success. It registered a 65% occupancy rate for the first time during this period. However, the Baybrook Mall located 10 miles north of the mall would be its main competitor. The building suffered from a lack of visibility and changed ownership a number of times before it was closed in 2014. JMK% Holdings LLC acquired the building in 2015 and turned it into a thriving retail space.

The New Facility

Jerome Karam's latest project is to turn the J.C Penney building on the mall of the Mainland into a storage facility. He saw the potential of the vacant building where others did not. "The mall had been shut down for two years, everyone told me that it couldn't be done, there was no way," he told the daily news. The 600+ unit of Indoor Climate Controlled Storage facility is one of his projects which is expected to bring back to life the Mall of the Mainland.

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SOURCE: Jerome Karam