Westfield Sells Five Malls Across U.S. for $1.1B

by Nellie Day

LOS ANGELES — Westfield Corp. (ASX: WFD) has sold five of its regional malls to a joint venture between Centennial Real Estate Co., Montgomery Street Partners, USAA Real Estate Co. and a real estate investment affiliate of Blum Capital Partners for $1.1 billion. The portfolio features more than 6 million square feet of retail space across four states.

The acquisition includes the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, Conn.; Main Place Mall in Santa Ana, Calif.; Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills, Ill.; Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Ill.; and Vancouver Mall in Vancouver, Wash. The malls have an average occupancy rate of more than 97 percent.

Montgomery and USAA will act as the financial partners, while Westfield will maintain a minority equity interest. Centennial will oversee the malls’ daily operations. The existing on-site management teams will continue to operate the properties under Centennial’s direction.

The JV plans to evaluate each property to determine where it can add value through enhancements and new tenants.

“A mall can’t just be about shopping anymore,” says Steven Levin, Centennial’s CEO. “Understanding the needs of your market is the cornerstone of creating a one-of-a-kind experience that guests can’t get online or anywhere else. Our goal is to provide a community hub and destination complete with the best available options in shopping, dining and entertainment.”

Australia-based Westfield Corp. is one of the world’s largest shopping center owners and developers, with 40 malls and 7,412 retail outlets worldwide. Its U.S.-based headquarters is located in the Los Angeles submarket of Century City.

Westfield’s stock closed at $9.70 on Friday, Dec. 18, on the Australian Stock Exchange, up from $9.20 one year ago.

— Nellie Day

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