Macerich Co., a Santa Monica-based operator and owner of shopping malls, has acquired Santa Monica Place for about $130 million, and has sold a half-stake in three of its Southland malls collectively valued at about $550 million to a Canadian pension fund. Both transactions reflect Macerich's emphasis on "clustering" nearby centers to take advantage of buying efficiencies and marketing synergies.
Macerich purchased the 560,000-square-foot Santa Monica Place, at the south end of the Third Street Promenade, from Rouse Co. of Columbia, Md. Macerich in the last three years also has purchased the Westside Pavilion and the Villa Marina Marketplace.
Separately, the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Canada's biggest public pension fund, has become a partner in three Macerich malls: Los Cerritos Center in Cerritos, Stonewood Mall in Downey and Macerich's flagship property, Lakewood Mall in Lakewood. Already a major partner with Macerich, Ontario Teachers has invested an additional $110 million in cash to become a partner in the three centers.
The deal expands the joint venture between Macerich and Ontario Teachers, which was established in February to acquire four major regional centers in the Pacific Northwest known as the Safeco portfolio. The venture, called Pacific Premier Retail Trust, now owns six regional malls and one mixed-use project totaling 7.9 million square feet and valued at more than $1 billion.