Seven years after selling its minority interest and management of Metrocenter to Simon Property Group, Westcor is back in charge of west Phoenix’s regional mall.
It means the local company will control every traditional regional mall in the Valley. Only Arizona Mills, Tempe’s outlet mall, is outside of Westcor’s burgeoning influence on the local retail scene.
Westcor parent Santa Monica, Calif.-based Macerich Co. purchased Fiesta Mall in Mesa for $135 million in November.
In the East Valley, Westcor operates Fiesta Mall, Superstition Springs Center, Chandler Fashion Center, Scottsdale Fashion Square and Paradise Valley Mall and is planning to build San Tan Village, which includes a regional mall and several open-air shopping centers, in Gilbert within three years. Westcor also recently picked up Biltmore Fashion Park, an upscale open-air shopping center in east Phoenix.
Macerich will be a minority financial partner in Metrocenter.
Somera Capital Management, a private real estate investment company, said Thursday it bought Metrocenter in a joint venture with Macerich and AEW Capital Management.
A spokeswoman for Somera said the company is not revealing the purchase price.
The deal includes giving Westcor the reins to redevelop and revitalize the aging shopping center, which recently lost a key tenant, Macy’s.
"We’ve always had a loyalty to that center because Rusty Lyon (a local real estate giant) built it," said Tracey Gotsis, Westcor senior vice president. Gotsis said it’s too soon to say what changes will happen at Metrocenter.
"We’re just starting to prioritize. It will involve redevelopment and remerchandising," she said.
But Gotisis said undoubtably a big priority will be to fill up the space Macy’s is vacating.