by Colin Smith/KTAR
April 25th, 2011

In the south Valley, four foreclosed strip malls are being auctioned off online — a symbol of the struggling commercial real estate market.

At the Queen Creek Village, only five of the original 29 stores are still open for business. In the others are vacant, shuttered storefronts with ‘for lease’ signs in the windows.

Laura Cooper remembers her struggle at the Village. She closed Serenity Massage and Tan in December 2010.

“We had no anchor store and no traffic coming through our shopping center. It was really hard and draining.”

Cooper says other problems plagued her business — a bad location and poor upkeep. “Nobody wants to visit somewhere like that, it’s terrible.”

The property’s original value was $20.5 million. Tomorrow’s starting bid? $700,000.

The public may register to bid for the properties at