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Retail comings and goings

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One of Central Virginia’s outdoor shopping venues, Stony Point Fashion Park, will be under new ownership by the end of the year, with the mall one of seven being sold by the Michigan-based Taubman Centers.

Taubman announced earlier this month that Stony Point and MacArthur Center in downtown Norfolk were among seven centers in a portfolio that it has agreed to sell for $1.4 billion to an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, a private equity firm.

The transaction includes $785 million in cash and $620 million of property-level debt that will be repaid or assumed at closing by the buyer. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

Barry Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, said in a statement that the acquisition is “highly strategic” for the company’s retail operating unit, Starwood Retail Partners. “The Taubman portfolio broadens our relationships with higher end department stores and in line tenants and gives us an excellent opportunity to continue to produce attractive returns to our investors,” he said.

Taubman built and developed Stony Point, which opened in 2003. It also was the longtime owner of Regency Square in Henrico County, which it bought in1997 and in 2010 turned over to the mortgage lender to avoid foreclosure.

While Taubman continues to sell properties in the Richmond market, Walmart continues to expand. According to a story reported by Richmond BizSense, a Walmart Supercenter plans to move into Eastgate Town Center, an open-air retail center that will replace the aging Fairfield Commons Mall on Nine Mile Road in Henrico County.

Bromont Investment Group, based in Arizona, plans to take down the existing mall and replace it with a new 300,000-square-foot retail complex.  Walmart’s new store would take up 190,000 square feet and anchor the new development.

In October 2012, Walmart opened a 148,368-square-foot retail center in Powhatan County.
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