The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel is among 10 regional malls that will be sold by Forest City Realty Trust, Inc., for a total of about $3.2 billion, according to an announcement by Forest City.
The buyer is Australia-based QIC, an investment partner of Forest City. QIC currently owns about 49 percent of the Wiregrass mall, with Forest City holding 51 percent ownership, according to Greg Lenners, the mall’s general manager.
QIC has been a partner with Forest Realty for about two years, Lenners said.
“As far as merchants at Wiregrass and customers, nobody will notice anything different,” Lenners said. “You’re not going to see any changes other than ongoing improvements at center court.”
In other words, it’s business as usual.
The sale of six of the malls, including Wiregrass, is expected to close by the end of the year for about $1.24 billion. No information was provided on the value of the individual malls.
The remaining four malls will be sold for about $1.93 billion as Forest City “secures replacement assets,” according to a news release about the sale.
Many of the malls are in California, with others in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Nevada and West Virginia.
Per the agreement, Forest City will transfer its retail operations, including most of its personnel, to QIC.
So far, leasing, marketing, tenant coordination, legal and human resources have been transitioned to QIC. Accounting, property management and other functions will transfer as closings are completed.
“We view the U.S. real estate market and the retail sector in particular as a strong investment opportunity,” said Steve Leigh, in a written statement. He is QIC’s managing director of global real estate.
QIC began its partnership with Forest City in 2013.
Once the sale of the 10 malls to QIC, and the company’s New York specialty retail centers to Madison International is complete, Forest City will no longer have shopping centers in its portfolio.
“We are very pleased to achieve this key milestone with our partner,” said David J. LaRue in a written statement. LaRue is Forest City president and chief executive officer. “This transaction is a win-win for all parties, as we continue to focus our business on urban residential, office and mixed-use assets, and QIC acquires full ownership of a U.S. retail presence with high quality regional malls in strong markets.”
For more information, visit Forestcity.net.
Published Oct. 11, 2017