By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Oct 30, 2014 at 4:36 PM Photography: Bobby Tanzilo

The Milwaukee Business Journal reported Thursday afternoon that the top bidder in last Thursday's Grand Avenue Mall auction was Alex Levin, a Brooklyn real estate investor who, the piece notes, "specializes in distressed retail properties."

Levin has several other struggling malls and similar purchases attached to his name.

Levin's winning bid last Thursday hit $16.5 million, beating out local development group WAM DC LLC.

According to Business Journal reporter Alison Bauter, Levin confirmed to the Milwaukee Business Journal that he was the top bidder for Grand Avenue on Thursday afternoon. He did not elaborate on his plans for the newly acquired space, but according to the report, he did say he is behind the documents recently submitted to the state to incorporate "Grand Avenue Mall LLC."

The Milwaukee Business Journal's report cancels out the popular but denied rumor that new Bucks owners Marc Lasry and Wes Edens purchased the Downtown mall for the basketball team's new arena.

The sale of the mall's interior space, as well as its 1,748-space parking structure, will not be finalized until Nov. 13.