By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
Shopping center owner, developer and operator Equity One Inc. has entered into an agreement to sell a total of 36 properties to Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII for the reported amount of $473.1 million. The assets, comprising approximately 3.9 million square feet, were encumbered by mortgage loans having an aggregate principal balance of $177.4 million as of June 30, 2011. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur within the fourth quarter of 2011.
Predominantly located in the Atlanta, Tampa and Orlando markets, with additional properties located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Maryland, the shopping centers generated net operating income of approximately $35.4 million for the 12-month period ended June 30, 2011, and had a total occupancy rate of 91 percent, according to an official press release.
Among the shopping centers that are to trade hands, there are 14 Florida properties, six of which are situated in the Tampa Bay area: Bay Ponte Plaza in St. Petersburg, Carollwood Center in Tampa, Dolphin Village in St. Pete Beach, Ross Plaza in Tampa, Chelsea Place in New Port Richey and Lake St. Charles in Riverview. Most of them are currently housing Publix supermarkets.
The sale, along with Equity One’s $600 million purchase of Capital & Counties and other recent acquisitions, allows the company to advance its strategic plan of concentrating its portfolio in the urban retail markets of New York, Miami, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As of June 30, Equity One owned or had interests in 219 properties comprising nearly 24 million square feet and consisting of 192 shopping centers, 10 projects under development or redevelopment, 12 non-retail properties and five parcels of land.