Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., a New York-based private real estate investor, has acquired the Northland Center, a 1.7 million sq. ft. enclosed mall in Southfield, Mich., for about $31 million.

Marcus & Millichap vice presidents Mark Taylor and Dean Zang of the brokerage’s Philadelphia office, represented the seller of the property, Jenkintown, Penn.- based Jager Management Inc.

The property went into contract in July, just before the financial crisis made global headlines. However, the transaction posed a number of challenges in the current environment, according to Taylor. “Some of the challenges we worked to overcome included the assumption of a loan in this very difficult capital markets environment and the erosion in the property’s rent roll.”

At the time of closing, the property was 70% occupied. “As the retail sector continues to face losses due to a downturn in consumer spending, landlords across the nation have encountered some significant leasing issues,” notes Zang. “The new owner plans to make significant capital improvements to the mall. A major repositioning and changes to the tenant mix should assist in turning this property around.”

The Northland Center, developed in 1954, is co-anchored by Macy’s and Target. Other retailers at the 120-acre property include Coffee Beanery, Lens Crafters, and Lady Footlocker.