General Growth Properties Inc. announced the refinancing of seven shopping malls representing $1.7 billion of new mortgages ($1.4 billion is GGP’s share).

These seven new fixed-rate mortgages have a weighted average term of 10.3 years and generated cash proceeds in excess of in-place financing of approximately $400 million to GGP. GGP has also been able to lower the weighted average interest rate of these seven mortgages from 5.65 percent to 5.33 percent, while lengthening the term by approximately seven years over that in place. Six of these properties have closed and the seventh property is anticipated to close in May 2011.

Additionally, GGP has also increased the capacity of its credit facility to $750 million, up from $720 million. These recent financings, when combined with cash on hand, increases GGP’s liquidity position to over $2 billion.

“We are pleased to announce the completion of these financing transactions,” GGP CEO Sandeep Mathrani said in a statement. “These transactions mark another step towards our 2011 balance sheet goals of lengthening maturities while improving liquidity. We will continue to take advantage of our ability to refinance GGP’s mortgages and the current capital markets where it is accretive to GGP’s balance sheet strategy.”

CBL Completes $481.1M in Financing Activity

CBL & Associates Properties Inc. announced $481.1 million in financing activity at a combined estimated weighted average interest rate of 5.42 percent and a weighted average term of 6.8 years.

Year-to-date CBL has closed ten separate non-recourse secured mortgages. Proceeds were used to repay approximately $370.0 million on the company’s $520.0 million credit facility and $90.0 million in existing loans scheduled to mature in 2011. Eight of the new loans were secured with properties previously used as collateral to secure the $520.0 million credit facility.

“We are pleased to announce more than $480 million in financing activity at very favorable terms,” CBL Vice Chairman and CFO John Foy said in a statement. “These transactions demonstrate our strong access to the debt markets and create $370 million of credit availability under the $520 million credit facility. Additionally, they further strengthen our balance sheet by significantly reducing our exposure to floating rate and recourse debt.”

CBL closed six separate ten-year loans including a $95.0 million loan secured by Parkdale Mall and Parkdale Crossing in Beaumont, Texas; a $99.4 million loan secured by Park Plaza in Little Rock, Ark.; a $44.1 million loan secured by Eastgate Mall in Cincinnati, Ohio; a $19.8 million loan secured by Wausau Center in Wausau, Wisc.; a $92.0 million loan secured by Mid Rivers Mall in St. Charles, Mo., and a $10.6 million loan secured by Hamilton Crossing in Chattanooga, Tenn. The loans bear an effective weighted average fixed interest rate of 5.7 percent. The loans are not cross-collateralized.

CBL also closed four separate five-year loans including a $36.4 million loan secured by Stroud Mall in Stroudsburg, Pa.; a $58.1 million loan secured by York Mall in York, Pa.; a $12.1 million loan secured by Gunbarrel Pointe in Chattanooga, Tenn., and a $13.6 million loan secured by Coolsprings Crossings in Nashville, Tenn. The loans bear an effective weighted average fixed interest rate of 4.5 percent. The loans are not cross-collateralized.

HFF Closes Refinancing and Sale in Separate Retail Deals

HFF completed two recent retail related deals.

In the first deal, HFF arranged a $61 million refinancing for the 295,979-square-foot El Paseo de Saratoga retail center in San Jose, Calif.

HFF worked exclusively on behalf of the borrower, Terramar Retail Centers, to secure the 10-year fixed-rate loan through a life insurance company. The loan has five years interest-only at an interest rate of 4.55 percent. The borrower bought the property in October 2008 in an all-cash purchase.

Completely redeveloped in 2007, the property features 18 buildings on a nearly 32-acre site. El Paseo de Saratoga is anchored by Lucky Supermarket, AMC Theatres, Office Max and Petco. Other tenants at the 94 percent leased center include Peet’s Coffee, Jamba Juice, U.S. Bank and Panda Express.

The HFF team representing the borrower included director Mark Erland, senior managing directors Don Curtis and managing director Peter Smyslowski.

In a separate deal, HFF closed the sale of the 78,690-square-foot Gulfgate Square shopping center in Houston.

HFF marketed the property on behalf of the seller, Moody Rambin Interests. De La Vega Capital purchased Gulfgate Square for an undisclosed amount.

The property is anchored by Office Depot and Conn’s and is shadow-anchored by Home Depot. Other retailers at the fully leased center include Radio Shack, Subway, Whataburger and IHOP.

The HFF investment sales team representing the seller, Moody Rambin Interests, was led by senior managing director Rusty Tamlyn and associate director Trent Agnew.

Debartolo/Forge Capital JV Acquires Mills Park

DeBartolo Development LLC and Forge Capital Partners LLC, through the companies’ joint venture investment fund, Community Reinvestment Partners II L.P., announced today they have acquired Mills Park, the 14.5-acre site of a city-approved mixed-use development in Orlando, Fla. DeBartolo and Forge will develop the property as initially planned to include retail, multifamily and office.

Pelloni Development Corp., the original developer of the project, will remain involved in the master development and will develop the medical and professional office component.

“The commercial real estate market continues to show signs of recovery with the multifamily sector leading the way and demand for retail and office space gradually increasing,” Debartolo President and COO Edward Kobel said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Pelloni Development on this exciting project. Their knowledge of the project and experience with office development combined with our retail and multifamily expertise will contribute to the project’s success.”

In addition to blending the retail, multifamily and office components, the development will still include a park, bike path and parking garage.

Canopy Commercial | Auction Closes $16M Sale

Canopy Commercial | Auction announced the $16.0 million sale of Silver Springs Pointe, a three building, 135,028-square-foot shopping center in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The shopping center comprises a portion of Silver Springs Crossing, a mixed-use development home to regional operations centers for Sprint PCS, The Hartford Financial Services Group, and Williams Sonoma.

The closing follows the January 29, 2011 best and final sealed bid deadline, prior to which Canopy Commercial | Auction procured 25 registered bidders and nine sealed bid submissions through its marketing efforts. The sales price exceeded the $15 million suggested minimum bid.

The offering included the following properties: a free-standing Kohl’s Department Store with an absolute net lease which has approximately 11 years remaining on its initial term; a free-standing Office Depot with a triple net lease which has approximately six years remaining on its initial term; and a 95 percent occupied, multi-tenant shopping center which is home to 15 tenants ranging in size from 1,000 square feet to just over 4,000 square feet. The shopping center’s tenants include Mattress Firm, Verizon Wireless, Game Stop, Sally Beauty Supply, H & R Block, and Sport Clips. The property is shadow anchored by Wal-Mart Supercenter, Sam’s Wholesale Club, and Home Depot.

Jason Little, CCIM of Canopy Commercial | Auction handled the sale for both the seller, Silver Springs Pointe Holdings LLC and for the buyer, Inland Diversified Oklahoma City Silver Springs LLC, part of the Inland Real Estate Group of Cos. Title and escrow services for the all-cash transaction were provided by Nancy Castro of Chicago Title Insurance Co.

According to Canopy, the transaction is the largest reported retail investment sale transaction in the Oklahoma City market since Inland’s November, 2007 purchase of Memorial Square Shopping Center for $29.2 million and its October, 2007 purchase of 240 Penn Park for $40 million.

WS Development, Olympic Realty Close on Land Purchase

WS Development and Olympic Realty & Development Corp. closed on 42 acres of land located in Millcreek, Pa., in conjunction with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.. The land is the future home of Millcreek Town Center, a 350,000 square foot open-air shopping center, which will include a new Walmart and approximately 160,000 square feet of additional retail and restaurant space.

Construction of the 190,000-square-foot Walmart is expected to begin this year. Leasing is underway on the 160,000 square feet of additional retail space, which includes space allocations for junior department stores, small shops, and freestanding outparcels. WS Development is the leasing agent for the project.

Hampshire Cos. Acquires Michigan Property

The Hampshire Cos. acquired of a 113,481-square-foot retail property in Plainwell, Mich., from AC Green Associates LLC. for an undisclosed price.

The property, consisting of 98,839 square feet of retail space and an 18,642-square-foot garden center, is fully leased to Home Depot.

Christopher Rider of Day Pitney LLP represented Hampshire in the transaction. The seller was represented by John R. Marquis of Warner, Norcross & Judd LLP.

Other Notable Deals

CB Richard Ellis completed the sale of 5,556-square-foot Shops At Park Meadows for $1.99 million, or $358 per square foot. CBRE’s retail investment experts Philip Voorhees, Pat Toomey and Megan Read in partnership with Brad Lyons in CBRE’s Denver office, handled the sale on behalf of Cielo Yosemite LLC, a private investor. The buyer was also a private investor, and both buyer and seller were based in Orange County, CA. The center was 100 percent occupied at the time of sale to three tenants, Subway, Max Muscle and Pasta Jay’s. The sale price represented a 9.22 percent cap rate on in place NOI. CBRE distributed more than 900 offering memorandums to investors and brokers, and through the team’s managed bid offer process, generated three competitive offers to purchase the property.

Colliers International completed the sale of a 9,219-square-feet multi-tenant retail property in San Clemente, Calif., for $1.75 million. This retail center was built in 2005 is part of the Courtyards at Talega, a 35,000-square-feet community shopping center. Ian Schroeder and Maurice Nieman, vice presidents, based in Colliers International’s Irvine office, represented both the seller, JP Morgan Chase, and the buyer, SVN Equities, an investment management company.

Yale Realty Services purchased the 9,850-square-foot Evendale Commons in Cincinnati, Ohio for an undisclosed price. The property is situated at the entrance to a new Walmart Supercenter-anchored mixed-use complex and features tenants including Chipotle, Starbucks, GameStop, and Verizon. The center is fully leased. Colliers International represented the seller, a joint venture between Anchor Properties and Miller-Valentine Group, and PRG Investments represented the buyer.