Macerich again sole owner of FlatIron mall

BROOMFIELD — Macerich Co., the operator of the 1.5 million-square-foot FlatIron Crossing mall in Broomfield, has reached a $323 million deal to reacquire 100 percent ownership of the mall.

Macerich also said it is working to lure a J.C. Penney Co. store to the mall and is planning a $10 million to $15 million redevelopment of the adjoining Village at FlatIron at FlatIron Crossing.

The announcements came Oct. 31 in the company’s third-quarter earnings conference call.

Macerich Co. (NYSE: MAC) is a Santa Monica, California-based real estate investment trust. It has had a stake in FlatIron Crossing since 2002, but in 2009 sold 75 percent of it as part of its plan to survive the recession.

Macerich paid $196 million in cash and assumed a $127 million pro rata share of debt to reobtain 100 percent ownership of the mall, according to Macerich’s earnings report. The deal was closed in early October.

“I am very pleased to bring this back into the wholly owned category,” chairman and chief executive Arthur Coppola said. “We think the center is definitely on an uptick, and we’re very pleased about it.”

Macerich has managed FlatIron Crossing since 2002, when it bought Westcor. Westcor built FlatIron Crossing in 2000.

In 2009, Macerich formed a joint venture with GI Partners, a private equity fund. In the joint venture, GI Partners paid about $116 million in net cash to acquire 75 percent of the mall.

The 2009 deal was part of Macerich’s strategy to survive the economic downturn, Coppola said. Macerich formed the venture with GI Partners to help it deleverage, and compared with the option of selling equity, the deal has proved to be a success, he said.

Coppola said the company is working on a relocation agreement with JC Penney to move its store from Westminster Mall to FlatIron Crossing.

FlatIron Crossing’s performance has improved since the deal with GI Partners, according to Macerich. FlatIron Crossing’s annual tenant sales per square foot are $531, Macerich said. In 2008, annual tenant sales were $443 per square foot, Macerich said in the release announcing the GI Partners deal.

FlatIron Crossing is anchored by Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Kim Campbell, FlatIron Crossing senior property manager, declined to comment on Macerich’s moves and plans.

The local management team has spent the year focused on opening new stores and remodeling. New tenants include clothier H&M, which opened its second Colorado store this year at FlatIron Crossing.

The mall now is getting ready for Black Friday and holiday shopping, she said.

“The mall is very fresh,” Campbell said, “and we’re keeping up with all the new retail concepts. It’s going to be a good holiday season.”

FlatIron Crossing is having its second annual “midnight madness” event on Black Friday, Nov. 23, when stores will open at 12 a.m.

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