HOUSTON – Pacific Retail Capital Partners has acquired the approximately 1.1 million square foot West Oaks Mall in Houston for $15 million through marketing conducted by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler for special servicer LNR Partners.
The principals of Pacific Retail Capital Partners are well-acquainted with the center and the market as they previously purchased the mall in 2003, made substantial renovations and sold it in 2005 for $102 million to Investment Properties of America when they were with Somera Capital.
“West Oaks Mall is an incredible value, well-located in a thriving community but it also requires a significant investment of management and leasing expertise to reposition the mall. We will work to repair the center’s image in the community as well as invest capital to refresh the property and potentially undertake some redevelopment,” noted Steve Plenge, managing principal, Pacific Retail Capital Partners. “We have the advantage of previous experience with the property. We know the community and we completed a major renovation just four years ago. With this background we can quickly start marketing the property to a variety of potential tenants.”
West Oaks Mall currently has three major anchors, Dillards, Macys and Sears. Previous anchor tenants JCPenney and Mervyns exited the center leaving these spaces available for renovation and repositioning. The team has specifically identified the wing of the center formerly anchored by Mervyns to evaluate for redevelopment. The remainder of the center’s retail space is approximately 60 percent occupied.
“There is a tremendous opportunity with the amount of contiguous and largely vacant space in the former Mervyns wing to reinvent this portion and bring new energy to the center. Even in the current economic climate there are entertainment venues, and what we consider junior anchor stores, that are expanding in solid markets,” added Plenge. “West Oaks Mall is in a mature and growing community. There are approximately 360,000 people within a five mile radius with an average household income of $90,000. These are the kinds of numbers that will help to attract some very appealing entertainment concepts, restaurants and retailers.” Pacific Retail Capital Partners has created a joint venture with Collarmele Partners to handle the management, retail leasing, redevelopment, and construction supervision of the mall. Collarmele Partners’ principals have decades of development and retail leasing experience and have worked with the executives of Pacific Retail on numerous retail assets over the past 15 years.
West Oaks Mall is comprised of 1,083,573 square feet, a single-level, enclosed regional mall set on nearly 100 acres that includes several perimeter retail and restaurant buildings. Bounded by Highway 6, Westheimer Road and Richmond Avenue in west Houston, West Oaks Mall has a high level of visibility in the community, easy access and abundant surface parking. “It’s difficult to see how the property deteriorated under previous owner Investment Properties of America. Yet it is exactly the kind of retail property acquisition that we have been targeting as we can bring the expertise of our team and partners to turning it around so it will once again be an inviting shopping, dining and gathering place for the community,” he added.
The West Oaks Mall acquisition is the first for Pacific Retail. The company is targeting additional regional mall acquisitions with attributes similar to West Oaks Mall, an unvalued, underperforming center in a strong community where it can apply its leasing, management and development expertise to improve performance and asset value.
About Pacific Retail Capital Partners
Pacific Retail Capital Partners was formed in January 2008 by principals Steve Plenge and Michael Miller to take advantage of opportunities in retail real estate as an owner and manager or as an operating partner. Plenge and Miller have a combined 50 years of retail real estate experience and have worked together for more than 15 years. Pacific Retail Capital Partners is headquartered in Los Angeles.
About Collarmele Partners
Collarmele Partners is a fully integrated retail and mixed-use development company. Executives at Collarmele Partners have developed and repositioned in excess of 50 different retail and mixed use projects encompassing over 35 million square feet throughout the United States. Their expertise lies in the total commercial development process including site acquisition, governmental approvals and entitlements, leasing, retail design, tenant oversight and coordination of all professionals.