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Local mall owner acquires 4 Sears properties for $28M

Washington Prime, the owner and operator of two local malls, has acquired four Sears properties.

Washington Prime, which owns the Mall at Fairfield Commons and the Dayton Mall, has signed an agreement to acquire four Sears department stores and four adjacent Sears Auto Centers for $28.5 million. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.

The Sears properties are located at the following centers: Longview Mall, located in Longview, Texas; Polaris Fashion Place, located in Columbus; Southern Hills Mall, located in Sioux City, Iowa; and Town Center at Aurora, located in Aurora, Colorado. No Dayton area properties have been affected.

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Washington Prime will now have control of these properties for future redevelopment. Sears will continue to operate under new leases with the company. Aggregate base rent under these leases is approximately $1.25 million, the company said in a statement.

“Sears will continue to operate these locations for a period of time that provides us with a suitable timeframe to evaluate the best adaptive reuse,” said Lou Conforti, CEO and director of Washington Prime.

In the event Sears decides to no longer operate these locations, the company will have the right to terminate the applicable lease upon thirty days’ prior written notice, Washington Prime officials explained.

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Washington Prime reported its financial and operating results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017 last month. Lou Conforti, CEO of Washington Prime, said it is “overall melodramatic to describe our sector as frenetic and volatile. Most importantly, it’s evolving,” he said.

The Columbus, Ohio-based real estate investment trust said it had funds from operations of $96.6 million, or 44 cents per share, in the period. The company said it had net income of $50.2 million, or 27 cents per share.

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