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SAN DIEGO-In its first major step toward completing a liquidation plan announced last month, Burnham Pacific Properties Inc. says it will sell 15 shopping centers with a combined 3.5 million sf for $355 million to a partnership of competing REIT Developers Diversified Realty, Prudential Real Estate Investors and Conventry Real Estate Partners.

The announcement comes after Burnham Pacific’s board officially approved the company’s liquidation on Tuesday. Cleveland-based Developers Diversified Realty will take control of 14 properties through ajoint venture with its equity partner Prudential Real Estate Investorsand Coventry Real Estate Partners, both of which had been in talks formonths to acquire all of Burnham Pacific. One property will be wholly owned by DDR.

“We have worked diligently over the past several months with [Burnham Pacific]tostructure a transaction that meets the strategic objectives of allparties,” says Peter Henkel,Coventry’s managing partner. “This transaction affords Coventry theopportunity to expand its investment portfolio significantly byacquiring properties that are well located in strong markets. We believethat under DDR’s management, we can enhance the value of the portfolioand generate strong returns for our investor partners.”

All of the properties involved in the sale are on the West Coast. Many have tenants that include Wal-Mart, furniture-retailing giant Ikea, home-electronics leader Circuit City and the Home Base do-it-yourself home-improvement chain.

Southern California properties involved in the portfolio sale include the 608,711-sf Valley Central shopping center in Lancaster; the 282,163-sf Mountaingate Plaza in Simi Valley;the 781,222-sf Plaza at Puente Hills in Industry; the 114,000-sf LaMancha Fullerton in Orange County, and the 258,000-sf San Diego Factory Outlet in San Ysidro.

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