Starwood Capital acquires majority interest in malls

Through a controlled affiliate, Starwood Capital Group, a Greenwich-based private investment firm, has acquired a majority interest in seven regional malls in the United States from the Westfield Group, based in Sydney, Australia. As previously disclosed, Westfield will maintain a 10 percent common equity interest in the properties.
The properties will become part of the growing portfolio at Starwood Retail Partners, which oversees Starwood Capital Group’s retail investments. The existing onsite management teams will continue to operate the properties under the direction of Starwood Retail Partners.
The malls contain 7.9 million square feet of retail space and include Belden Village Mall in Canton, Ohio; Capital Mall in Olympia, Wash.; Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio; Great Northern Mall in North Olmsted, Ohio; Parkway Plaza in El Cajon, Calif.; Plaza West Covina in West Covina, Calif.; and Southlake Mall in Merrillville, Ind.
The sites are all anchored by major national retailers and have an average occupancy of about 96 percent.
The two firms completed a similar transaction in June 2012 involving seven malls in California, Illinois, Ohio, Nebraska and Florida that helped lead to the formation of Starwood Retail Partners.
“We intend for Starwood Retail Partners to be an important new player in this industry, with fresh ideas and collaborative partnerships with tenants and to attract great people talent to power our growing platform,” said Barry Sternlicht, chairman of Starwood Retail Partners, in prepared comments.
Over the last 18 months, the company has assembled a portfolio of 19 regional malls and retail centers with an aggregate purchase price in excess of $3.2 billion, said Scott Wolstein, CEO of Starwood Retail Partners.