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Pear Tree factory stores complex sold to outlet group

The Pear Tree Factory Outlet Stores has been sold, one of the complex's three owners confirmed Thursday.

Pacific Northwest Factory Outlet Malls bought the 75,000-square-foot complex at the Phoenix Interstate 5 exit in a deal that closed last week, according to owner Bob Finley.

Nothing is expected to change for shoppers in the wake of the sale.

The new owners could not be reached Thursday, and few details about the company were available.

Finley said he doesn't expect the sale to change expansion plans for the outlet center.

In October, the Phoenix Planning Commission approved a 10,000-square-foot expansion for the complex.

Pear Tree developers have sought a major retailer such as L.L. Bean or Levi Strauss for the spot and are waiting for a tenant before starting the expansion.

Finley and two other partners, Bert and Peggy Ziessau, developed the outlets, which opened in 1993. Finley said the group wasn't looking to sell when Pacific Northwest approached it a few months ago.

They asked if we wanted to sell and I said, `Not really,' he said, but anything is for sale at the right price.

He declined to reveal what that right price was. The new owners will take over during the next 90 days.

Finley, who was semi-retired when the project started, said he's ready to get back to a more leisurely pace.

We've been working very hard here for the past six years, he said. We're going to slow down.

The Ziessaus did not return phone messages left Thursday.