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New owner means Woodbury Lakes will avoid Oct. 1 sheriff's sale

Woodbury Lakes avoided foreclosure after the retail center's ownership changed hands.

The former owner, Woodbury Lakes Retail LLC, turned over the property to a lender, effectively canceling a sheriff's sale that was scheduled for next week.

The lender, a limited liability company called DMARC, retained Minnetonka-based Welsh Companies to continue managing the upscale retail complex on Hudson Road between Radio and Woodbury drives.

"The facility is operating as normal," said Michelle Surkamp, Welsh's senior marketing communications coordinator. "Nothing's closing."

The retail center's future appeared in limbo last month when a legal notice suggested it was headed for foreclosure because Woodbury Lakes Retail had failed to make mortgage payments for several months in a row and owed a total of $78.5 million on the property. An Oct. 1 sheriff's sale was set.

A deed was filed Sept. 4 that changed the ownership, a Washington County property records official said.

As property manager, Welsh Companies recently used its Web site and the social networking site Facebook to quell rumors that the shopping complex was closing. It noted the ownership change but said it would be business as usual.

"Customers will not notice any difference in the daily operations of the shopping center or its tenants," a Facebook post read.

Woodbury officials have been in contact with Welsh Companies about the retail center.

"They assured us that their future is solid there," said Janelle Schmitz, Woodbury's planning and economic development manager.

Development firm Opus Northwest built the 400,000-square-foot open retail center in 2005. One year later it was sold to a Woodbury Lakes Retail-affiliated company.