New Hyde Park, N.Y. β€” A joint venture between Kimco Realty Corp., Simon Property Group and the Schottenstein Group won designation rights in March for all the real estate interests of defunct department store chain Montgomery Ward.

These interests consist of 250 former Montgomery Ward retail stores and other operating real estate assets, Kimco announced. The designation rights include 315 separate fee simple and leasehold property interests.

The venture agreed to purchase the designation rights β€” which enable the companies to direct the disposition of fee and leasehold positions held by the bankrupt estate β€” for an initial price of $60.5 million, Kimco announced.

However, under the terms of the asset purchase agreement, that price might ultimately exceed $435.5 million, Kimco announced. During the marketing period the venture will be responsible for all costs associated with operating the properties until a site is designated to a user.

Kimco, a publicly traded REIT based in New Hyde Park, specializes in shopping center acquisitions, development and management. It owns and operates the nation's largest portfolio of neighborhood and community centers. Schottenstein Stores of Columbus, Ohio, owns Filene's Basement and Value City department stores.