The Macerich Partnership, L.P., the operating partnership of Macerich (NYSE: MAC) and long-time partner Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. announced a joint venture for Macerich's 966,499-square-foot Queens Center in Queens, N.Y.

Under the terms of the deal, Macerich receives approximately $150 million in net cash and Cadillac Fairview acquires 49 percent interest in the asset. It also relieves the REIT of $167 million in debt associated with the property. It is the first in a series of joint venture transactions Macerich is working on that it expects to raise $500 million in equity.

"Strategic joint ventures are at the core of Macerich's business model and this deal makes it possible for Macerich and Cadillac Fairview to build on a partnership that spans more than a decade and has delivered strong results, both from a financial and a real estate perspective," Macerich President Edward C. Coppola said in a statement.

This is the eighth regional shopping center to be joint ventured for the two entities: Macerich and Cadillac Fairview co-own seven shopping centers in California and the Pacific Northwest, including Lakewood Center and Los Cerritos Center in greater Los Angeles and Washington Square in Portland, Ore. The longstanding partnership began in 1999.

Macerich will continue to manage the property.

According to Macerich, the center produces annual mall sales (spaces 10,000 square feet or less) of $876 per square foot as of year-end 2008, making it the top-performing asset in Macerich's portfolio. Macerich purchased Queens Center in 1995 and redeveloped the center in 2004 adding approximately 380,000 square feet of new specialty shop space and an adjacent parking structure in the process. The center was 97.5 percent occupied at the end of 2008, is anchored by JCPenney and Macy's and features approximately 165 specialty retailers and restaurants.

Other Notable Deals

Forest City Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: FCE.A and NYCE: FCE.B) reported six new financings and eight extensions of maturities, totaling approximately $325 million. In the retail sector, the company received a 17-month extension of a $99.2 million construction loan for Orchard Town Center in Westminster, Colo. It also got a two-year extension on a $25.3 million land loan for the Central Station mixed-use development in downtown Chicago….The New York office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) arranged a $6.5 million refinancing of the 126,000-square-foot Pittsfield Plaza in Pittsfield, Mass., for Phoenix Merrill Road LLC. The financing is a 10-year, 6.35 percent fixed-rate loan from a regional bank…. Schreer Partnership Interests purchased the 194,000-square-foot Steeplechase Shopping Center in Houston from Weingarten Realty Investors for an undisclosed price. Transwestern represented Weingarten in the transaction. WPW Management is heading the marketing effort for the center.

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