Mall of America wants control of empty Sears store

Eddie Lampert still has the lease on the space for $10 in annual rent.

The Mall of America has an empty three-story space that it wants to use to generate more traffic.

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Financier Eddie Lampert is standing in the way.

The space used to be a Sears store, which was lost in this year's bankruptcy proceedings.

Lampert still has the lease on the space for $10 in annual rent, according to court papers seen by Dow Jones.

A cashier rings up a customer at a Sears store March 15, 2006 in San Bruno, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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For $5.2 billion, Lampert purchased the assets he wanted from the bankruptcy, for the purpose of selling or subleasing some stores.

Mall of America is concerned that the situation establishes a precedent in giving other tenants a way out of their leases.

Lampert created a company called Transform Holdings to run those Sears assets that he chose. The company has closed half of the 425 locations, closing the Mall of America location in March.

Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., approved the assigning of the lease to Transform.

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Mall of America is appealing that ruling and a spokesperson declined to comment to Dow Jones beyond court filings.