Thursday, April 12, 2012

Westcor's parent sells its stakes in 3 centers

Macerich Co., the parent of Phoenix-area mall developer Westcor, has sold its stakes in three East Valley power centers in transactions valued at more than $100 million.

Cole Real Estate Investments, a Phoenix-based real-estate investment trust, paid $54.8 million for Macerich's wholly owned 284,500-square-foot SanTan Marketplace power center in Gilbert.

Cole also teamed with RED Development to buy Macerich's 50 percent stakes in the Chandler Festival and Chandler Village Center power centers for $31 million and $14.8 million, respectively.

The remaining 50 percent of the two Chandler centers is held by the East Valley's Propstra family.

Chandler Festival contains 365,000 square feet of retail space and Chandler Village Center, 130,000 square feet.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Macerich, a REIT that acquired the Valley's dominant mall developer, Westcor, in 2002, has been selling off non-core shopping centers to concentrate on its regional malls. Borgata of Scottsdale and Hilton Village in Scottsdale are among other Macerich shopping centers thought to be on the market.

RED Development Managing Partner Mike Ebert said the Chandler acquisitions were the first under a Cole/RED joint venture formed last year to take advantage of opportunities in the retail real-estate market. He said the venture has another property under contract but declined to give its name.

"We feel it's perfect time to buy," Ebert said. "Interest rates are low, prices are pretty good, and we are at the beginning of economic recovery."

Cole Executive Vice President Thomas Roberts said all three centers are anchored by nationally recognized retailers and benefit from traffic from nearby regional malls.

"These power centers are all primary retail destinations in the southeast Phoenix trade area," he said.

RED Development, based in Phoenix, will handle leasing at all three properties.

In the past year, RED, which is developing the 1.1 million-square-foot CityScape in downtown Phoenix, has acquired the Aspen Place at the Sawmill retail enter in Flagstaff and the Shops at Prescott Gateway development in Prescott. The company also has acquired an interest in the Town & Country shopping center in central Phoenix and took over management of the CityCenter of CityNorth development in north Phoenix.

"We are trying to move up our growth through acquisitions," Ebert said.

Cole, which holds more than $10 billion in commercial real estate in six non-traded public real-estate investment trusts, also has been in an acquisition mode. The 33-year-old company bought $2.5 billion in real estate in 2011 and plans to spend $3 billion on properties in 2012.

Recent acquisitions include the Greenway Commons power center in Houston and the Fairlane Green power center in Detroit.

by Max Jarman - Apr. 11, 2012 06:25 PM The Republic |

Westcor's parent sells its stakes in 3 centers

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