The owners of Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, are reportedly not pursuing plans to sell the property and other high-performing malls. Last year, owners Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) had announced their intention to sell most of their American properties by the end of 2023. However, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, URW is now planning to retain some of its top-performing malls, including Garden State Plaza.
While a “radical reduction” in their portfolio cannot be ruled out, URW intends to hold onto their U.S. properties for the time being. The decision is driven by the strong operational performance of these malls and the limited number of potential buyers due to high borrowing costs.
URW’s Garden State Plaza holds significant value, with a 2018 CNBC study valuing it at $2.71 billion, making it the ninth-most valuable mall in the country at that time. The mall’s success can be attributed to its vibrant atmosphere and popularity among shoppers.
According to Emily Arft, an analyst at real estate analytics firm Green Street, URW is likely to reassess the sale of their properties once financing markets stabilize. In the meantime, the company will focus on selling off lower-performing malls while retaining their most valuable properties.
In addition to their decision to retain the Garden State Plaza, URW announced plans for a major overhaul in 2019. The project involves transforming an empty JCPenney store and converting parking areas into a mix of retail and residential developments. The partnership with developer Mill Creek Residential will bring 550 luxury apartments to the site, along with ground-level retail, entertainment options, and public green spaces.
These strategic moves by URW demonstrate their commitment to adapting and evolving in the ever-changing landscape of retail and real estate. By retaining top-performing assets and investing in transformative projects, the owners of Garden State Plaza are positioning themselves for long-term success.
Source: Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Green Street, NorthJersey.com