Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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122 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 Randall Shearin Starwood Retail Partners has created a new player in the mall segment by acquiring — and managing — some of the nation's strongest centers. Starwood Retail Partners' New Mind For Malls I magine if you could build your com- mercial real estate company the way you want: a staff that was hand-picked from the nation's most seasoned execu- tives; systems that were state-of-the-art and had no legacy issues; a portfolio that was cherry-picked from the nation's top de- velopers; and capital to provide a bright future for all of it. At Starwood Retail Partners, that dream is pretty much com- ing true. The company's parent, Starwood Capi- tal Group, has been a player in commer- cial real estate since the early 1990s, most notably in the hotel sector. Now, with Star- wood Retail Partners, Starwood Capital is carving a niche as a player in the regional mall business. With nearly 30 malls un- der its belt in its quick two-year history, Starwood Retail Partners has quickly become a force in the shopping center industry. With over $6 billion worth of assets, the company has quickly become the fifth-largest owner of regional malls in the country. The company has an A-list of executives who are building a company like no other in the sector. Shopping Center Business recently had the opportunity to present the exclusive story on Starwood Retail Partners, meeting with the entire executive staff to get the story behind the company's launch, its build-up and its bright future. At the company's headquarters in Chicago, SCB met with a number of executives [see Building A Team page 124] including CEO Scott Wolstein and President and COO Scott Ball. Building An ideA The idea of Starwood Retail Partners was, like many companies, borne out of vision and opportunity. Starwood Capi- tal Group, headed by Barry Sternlicht — who started his real estate career at retail and mixed-use developer JMB — wanted to create a retail real estate oper- ating platform, and went looking for the right opportunity. Sternlicht was friendly with Scott Wolstein, whose name many readers will know as the co-founder and former chairman and CEO of shopping center developer DDR. Wolstein began consulting with Starwood on possible re- tail deals after he left DDR in 2011. At that time, the regional mall industry was recovering from the recession, and Wolstein — who developed power and community shopping centers for more than 30 years — understood that there would be little new mall development. With supply constrained, malls that are dominant in their trade areas, and well Among the $6.5 billion of malls and shopping centers that Starwood Retail Partners has under management is Northlake Mall in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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