Elbit Medical Trying to Sell Arena, Again

Tiv Taam may open branch in the bleeding mall

Elbit Medical Imaging (Nasdaq: EMITF) owner Moti Zisser is again trying to unload the Arena seaside shopping mall in Herzliya. Elbit Medical officers have been meeting with potential buyers.

According to real estate sources, Zisser is asking too much. He wants $150 million for the mall, while industry sources think it's not worth more than maybe $80 million to $100 million.

Potential buyers who looked at Arena, which also sports docks for small boats, include Gazit Globe (TASE: GLOB), Alony Hetz Properties & Investments (TASE: ALHE) and Reit Israel (formerly Azorim Properties). The Azrieli group, controlled by Canadian property developer David Azrieli, also looked at the mall, the sources claim.

Amir Biram of Reit Israel commented that he is not buying it for $150 million.

In other Arena news, the Tiv Taam chain of non-kosher supermarkets is mulling setting up a 2,500 square meter branch at the mall. Oddly, while Tiv Taam's claim to fame is its offering of non-kosher foods, Zisser himself is deeply religious - but Arena already operates on Shabbat anyway.

Sources near the negotiations say Tiv Taam's store would also offer restaurant counters, and would have seafood and meats restaurants.

Arena cost an unprecedented $153 million to build. The mall is still losing money, after more than two years of operations. Recently rent paid by new businesses dropped to $35 per square meter. When the mall opened, its managers claimed it could command prices of $70 per meter.