The Westfield Group and Costco Wholesale Corp. reached an agreement for the addition of Costco stores at Westfield centers in three U.S. markets: Los Angeles, Sarasota, Fla., and Wheaton, Md.

"We are delighted to be welcoming Costco to Westfield," Westfield Group Managing Director Peter Lowy said in a statement. "The introduction of Costco illustrates Westfield's aim to introduce new goods and services into the malls—investing in new elements, new energy, new conveniences and new choices for Westfield shoppers. The integration of Costco into our U.S. portfolio takes the shopping experience to a whole new level."

In Los Angeles, an approximately 146,000 square foot Costco is to anchor the proposed Village at Westfield Topanga, which will sit between Westfield's existing Topanga and Promenade centers. The Village will encompass nearly one million square feet of new retail, dining, hotel and office area along with community and cultural uses, courtyards and gathering spaces.

In Sarasota, Florida, a former department store site will be redeveloped to house an approximately 145,000 square foot Costco at Westfield Sarasota Square. This would be Costco's first location in a wide expanse along Florida's Gulf Coast stretching across Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties. Currently, the nearest Costco warehouse clubs to Sarasota are located over 40 miles away. Westfield Sarasota Square is contains more than 900,000 square of space and is currently anchored by JCPenney, Macy's, and Sears, along with a diverse mix of more than 130 shops and restaurants.

In Wheaton, Maryland, a suburban community just outside of Washington, D.C., an approximately 148,000 square foot Costco will occupy the second level of a former department store site, with Westfield planning for the addition of mini anchors and new retail shops on the ground level below Costco. Westfield Wheaton is a 1.6 million square foot regional mall anchored by JCPenney, Macy's and Target, along with 195 shops and restaurants.

The new Costco stores are envisaged to open in late 2011 and early 2012 at Sarasota and Wheaton, and late 2012 at The Village at Westfield Topanga.

Urban Retail Lands Adds Five Centers to its Management Portfolio

Urban Retail Properties LLC will increase its third-party management division with the addition of five regional centers totaling over 3.5 million square feet.

The first centers being added to Urban Retail’s portfolio following this announcement are Mount Berry Square Mall in Rome, Ga., Bradley Square Mall in Cleveland, Tenn., and Shenango Valley Mall in Hermitage, Pa.. Urban will provide management and leasing services for each center.

Mount Berry Square Mall is a one-level enclosed shopping center which includes anchors JCPenney, Belk and Sears. Bradley Square Mall, a one-level enclosed shopping center anchored by Sears, Belk, JCPenney and Kmart. Shenango Valley Mall is anchored by Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney.

Additionally, Midwest Mall Properties has awarded Urban Retail the management and leasing of The Citadel, in Colorado Springs, Col., and Northwest Arkansas Mall in Fayetteville, Ark.

HFF Arranges $79M Refinancing for Miami Property

The Miami office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler L.P. (HFF) arranged a $79 million refinancing for The Shops at Sunset Place in Miami.

HFF executive managing director Manny de Zárraga, director Luis Castillo and managing director Danny Finkle, in conjunction with managing director Claudia Steeb and executive managing director and managing member, John Pelusi, Jr. of the Pittsburgh office of HFF, worked exclusively on behalf of the property’s ownership group comprised of Simon Property Group and Institutional Mall Investors LLC, a joint venture between an affiliate of Miller Capital Advisory Inc. and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The HFF team secured the 10-year, fixed-rate loan through JP Morgan Securities Inc., which replaced a maturing facility on the property.

Completed in 1999, the property has three open-air retail buildings and an eight-story parking garage all connected via pedestrian sidewalks and bridges. The Shops at Sunset Place is leased to a variety of tenants including AMC Theaters, LA Fitness, Gameworks, Barnes & Noble, Niketown and Splitsville, among others.

In a separate deal, HFF’s Dallas office secured a $10.4 million financing for the 176,693-square-foot Red Oak Village power center in San Marcos, Texas.

Working on behalf of Lincoln Property Co., HFF associate director Travis Anderson placed the 10-year, 5.5 percent fixed-rate first mortgage with Southwest Bank. Red Oak Village is 87 percent leased to tenants including Best Buy, Marshalls, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less and Carl’s Jr.

Cedar Issues $70M in Preferred Stock

Cedar Shopping Centers Inc. priced an underwritten public offering of an additional 2,850,000 shares of its 8 7/8 percent Series A Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, pursuant to a shelf registration, at $24.50 per share. Closing of the offering is scheduled for August 25. A final prospectus supplement relating to the offering will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The preferred shares have a liquidation preference of $25 per share and are redeemable at par at the option of the company. The preferred shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Net proceeds to the Company of the offering are estimated at $67.1 million. The company intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to reduce amounts outstanding under its secured revolving stabilized property credit facility. The credit facility, in turn, is expected to be available to fund acquisitions of additional properties and redevelopment costs for existing properties.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is sole underwriter for the transaction.

Broad Street Advisors Arranges $30M Acquisition Facility

Broad Street Advisors arranged a $30 million secured revolving line of credit on behalf of New York City-based American Realty Capital Trust Inc. a public, non-traded REIT that has purchased more than $500 million of free standing, single-tenant, net-leased assets to date.

The line of credit is with U.S. Bank Rob Rizzi, managing partners at Broad Street, handled the transaction.

Other Notable Deals

NAI James E. Hanson completed a the sale of the 160,000-square-foot Valley Mall Plaza in Irvington, N.J. This transaction was valued in excess of $4.25 million dollars. NAI Hanson's Senior Vice President Thomas W. Ryan and Vice President Barry J. Cohorsky represented both the buyer, Valley Mall Plaza LLC and the undisclosed seller in this transaction. Ryan and Cohorsky also worked with the lender who purchased the original conventional mortgage from the initial mortgage lender located out of state.

Ray Lewis, a linebacker with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens founded RL52 Realty as part of the RL52 Group. RL52 Realty 's first office will be in Boca Raton, Fla. RL52 Realty is a full service commercial real estate advisory firm, helping clients buy or sell, lease and manage properties in opportunistic metropolitan markets. It will feature a purchase and sale division, a leasing and franchise division, a property service and support division and a community and urban redevelopment division.

Grubb & Ellis Co. announced that Michelle Schierberl, CCIM, senior vice president, institutional capital markets, and Donald Ellis, associate, investment group, sold Temecula Creek Plaza, a 69,000-square-foot retail center, to a private investor on behalf of the property’s receivership for an undisclosed price. Robert Griffith, senior vice president, financial services asset management, who represents the property’s special servicer, JER Special Servicing, assisted the investment team. William Meinhold of Swoboda Hospitality Specialists represented the buyer in the transaction.

PCCP LLC and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System have formed a new venture that will originate first mortgages. The PCCP and OPERS venture intends to offer a shorter-term, flexible first mortgage product for owners with a value-added business plan and hold the loans to maturity.

Fred J. Hansen Trusts A & B purchased a 2,390-square-foot retail building in Conroe, Texas, from Jack In The Box Eastern Division LP for $1.96 million. Chris Rink of Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.

The San Diego office of Cushman & Wakefield announces that the 30,655-square-foot Sierra Mall in Fontana, Calif., sold for $1.4 million. The seller, China Trust Bank USA, was represented by Bryan Cunningham of the Cushman & Wakefield retail advisors team. The buyer, WP Sierra LLC, was represented by Craig Duhs of Duhs Commercial.