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TAMPA, FLA. — Mall owner and developer Taubman Centers Inc. (NYSE: TCO) has sold a 49.9 percent interest in International Plaza in Tampa to a joint venture that includes TIAA-CREF and APG for $499 million.

International Plaza is located adjacent to the Tampa International Airport at the center of the Tampa metroplex. The 1.2 million-square-foot upscale retail center, which opened in September 2001, includes anchors Dillard's, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom.

The mall contains approximately 200 specialty stores and several restaurants.Taubman will continue to lease and manage the center and maintain an ownership interest.

In December 2012, Taubman bought out CSAT LP’s stake in the shopping center for $437 million, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, making Taubman the sole owner of International Plaza.

The $499 million purchase price for the 49.9 percent interest in the center consists of $337 million of cash and approximately $162 million of beneficial interest in debt. Proceeds will be used to pay off Taubman’s loan on Stony Point Fashion Park in Richmond, Va., and for general corporate purposes.

“We’re delighted to align ourselves with two great institutional partners,” says Robert Taubman, chairman, president and CEO of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based Taubman Centers. “This transaction strengthens our balance sheet and highlights the extraordinary growth of this powerhouse asset.”

TIAA-CREF and APG’s joint venture targets dominant super-regional malls located in major U.S. markets — generally those within the top quartile of super-regional mall assets — through joint venture acquisitions with major mall operators. The joint venture is 51 percent owned by TIAA-CREF and 49 percent owned by APG.

“TIAA-CREF continues to seek opportunities in regional retail properties with strong income streams as part of a well-diversified real estate portfolio,” says Phil McAndrews, managing director of New York-based TIAA-CREF. “We believe opportunities to invest in high-quality assets with experienced operators are attractive for our investors over the long term.”

Steven Hason, managing director and co-head of Americas Real Estate at APG Asset Management US Inc., says APG looks forward to participating in the ownership and continued success of International Plaza. “The acquisition of an interest in this market–leading asset is a compelling addition to the super-regional mall portfolio that APG has assembled globally.”

TIAA-CREF is a national financial services organization with $564 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2013, and is a provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

APG is a Dutch pension services provider. APG Asset Management manages pension assets totaling about 345 billion euros, or US$474.1 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Taubman, a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT), is engaged in the ownership, management and/or leasing of 28 regional, super-regional and outlet shopping centers in the United States and Asia.

The REIT is currently developing The Mall at University Town Center in Sarasota, Fla.; the Mall of San Juan in San Juan, Puerto Rico; International Market Place in Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii; and shopping malls in Xi'an and Zhengzhou, China, as well as Hanam, South Korea.

Taubman’s stock price closed at $64.10 per share on Thursday, down from $81.58 per share a year ago.

Eastdil Secured LLC represented Taubman Centers in the sales transaction.

— Matt Valley

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