The Mills Corp. is divesting its community shopping centers in favor of focusing on its core business in megamalls. “It allows us to redeploy capital from an older and more capital-intensive asset group to Mills’ highly value-creative, blue-chip pipeline,” says Ken Parent, the company’s chief financial officer. A real estate partnership led by Stoltz Management of Delaware is the buyer.

The Arlington, VA-based retail developer expects to net $40 million on the sale and plow back the proceeds into its huge malls, which have increasingly emphasized entertainment.

The deal will take place in two phases. It sold 10 of the centers on August 3 for $141 million and expects to sell its last one, Liberty Plaza in Philadelphia, within two to three months. That center is expected to sell for $28.2 million, netting about $14.5 million, Mills says. The Philadelphia center is being handled separately because of complications involving its underlying debt. The centers, which are dispersed throughout the East, Southeast and Midwest, total about 2.2 million sf.

The mills, on the other hand, average about 1.5 million sf each. They feature a combination of off-price and full-price retailers, specialty stores, dining, entertainment, along with interactive retailing such as a skateboarding store with a skating park attached to it.

There are 11 such megamalls with 16 million sf in nine states. Seven more are under development or construction including Arundel Mills, which is expected to open this November south of Baltimore.

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