Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

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

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Page 128 of 358

COVER STORY 124 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 have been interested in the mall space for a long time and, like us, had not been able to find the right deal. Again, like us, this was the one they were waiting for size- wise and quality-wise." The three entities purchased the West- field portfolio for $1.1 billion (Westfield retained a minority share in the five cen- ters), closing in December 2015. Since the deal took nearly two years to con- summate, Centennial had time to plot its strategies for the portfolio's future — and for that of the company. The five centers from Westfield were not Centennial's first foray into the mall business. In fact, in its nearly 20 years in business, Centennial has owned and operated a number of regional centers, most in the Southwest. At the time of the Westfield transaction, the company owned three regional malls — Pueblo Mall in Pueblo, Colorado; Brazos Mall in Lake Jackson, Texas; and Chico Mall in Chico, California. But the centers Centennial has acquired are larger in scale and rep- utation than the company's existing mall assets, which leads to new challenges and opportunities. "This is something we felt we were always going to do," says Levin. "But, actually doing it is a different story. This has really put us at an elevated level with regard to tenant exposure and the ability to create a best-in-class organization." Along with the acquisition of the prop- erties came the chance to grow Centen- nial to the next level. With $1.7 billion in assets, the company is now becoming a large player in the regional mall industry. This has allowed Levin to begin focusing on building his operating platform. At 1.3 million square feet, Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, Connecticut, is the dominant retail center for a large part of the state. The center is anchored by JC Penney, Macy's, Sears, Target, Dick's Sporting Goods and a 14-screen Rave/Cinemark Theatre. Steven Levin, CEO, and Dan Sheridan, COO of Centennial Real Estate, met wtih Shopping Center Business at the company's Dallas headquarters.

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