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Commercial Real Estate
Business Observer Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 2 years ago

Aventura firm buys Edison Mall land from mall owner

Washington Prime Group sells mall property for $33.3 million
by: Kevin McQuaid Commercial Real Estate Editor

An Aventura-based investment firm has acquired the land beneath and surrounding the Edison Mall in Fort Myers from the mall’s Ohio-based owner, according to property and state records.

Mall Ground Portfolio LLC, an affiliate of Kawa Capital Management, spent $33.3 million to buy the site from Washington Prime Group, the owner of the 1.04 million-square-foot retail center.

Washington Prime, in turn, has committed to lease back the 41-acre property, according to company officials. Edison Mall’s land was one of four retail center properties the real estate investment trust sold and subsequently re-leased.

“The company views this announcement as a financial transaction which provided 30-year financing, not as a real estate sale,” Washington Prime says in a statement.

The REIT also “remains committed to reinvesting in the town center and maintaining its longstanding presence as the gathering place to shop, play, eat and drink in the Fort Myers area,” Washington Prime’s statement added.

It could not be determined whether Kawa plans to develop any of the 4125 Cleveland Ave. land going forward. Kawa officials did not return telephone calls for comment.

Formed in 2007 as a hedge fund, Kawa has expanded in recent years to offer real estate equity, secured lending and structured debt, according to its website. In all, the company has completed more than 50 separate deals and today has roughly $1.3 billion in assets under management.

Washington Prime Group is a REIT formed more than five years ago when it spun off from Simon Property Group, of Indiana, once the largest enclosed mall owner and operator in the U.S.

Columbus, Ohio-based Washington Prime expanded in January 2015 when it acquired Glimcher Realty Trust, according to the company’s website.

Like other enclosed mall owners, Washington Prime has struggled at times to maintain relevance at Edison Mall and elsewhere amid the growth of e-commerce. Today, the 54-year-old Fort Myers mall is anchored by department stores Dillard’s, Macy’s and J.C. Penney and specialty retailers such as Books-A-Million and Pandora, according to the mall’s website.

In all, the mall has 160 tenants, according to its website.


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