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DALLAS-The long-awaited trade of the 1.8-million-sf Dallas Galleria has closed in a deal pegged in the $300-million range between buyer, UBS Realty Investors of Chicago and the Houston-based seller, Hines. The seller, with a vested interest in Dallas, is exploring other development opportunities around town.

The selling price for the 95%-leased trophy is being closely guarded, with speculation coming just from those outside the deal. Those privy to the deal, though, are saying that UBS wasn’t the highest bidder for city’s long-standing retail kingmaker.

“We went to UBS because of the certainty of the close, the certainty of the execution and the previous existing relationship with Hines,” Mark Gibson, executive managing director for of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP in Dallas, tells GlobeSt.com. Hines and partner, Starwood Hotels & Resorts of White Plains, NY will continue to own and operate the adjoining Westin. The Dallas Galleria has been turned over to Chicago-based General Growth Properties to manage for UBS. The on-site management staff will remain essentially the same.

Hines’ George Lancaster says the firm has a few plans in the works, as the market dictates, for Dallas. It still manages two office towers and owns land tracts that could be readily developed. Early discussions have been held about a residential condo and more office product, but a decision won’t be made anytime soon, he tells GlobeSt.com.

The Galleria was built in 1982 and expanded four times on the 42-acre tract at the intersection of Interstate 635 and the Dallas North Tollway. Its anchors are Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Nordstrom and a three-story Gap. There are 200 inline shops. The bottom line is the mall collects a premium price per sf for a development long considered Dallas’ finest shopping venue. The numbers weren’t available, but “it’s the highest average sales per square foot in the metroplex,” Lancaster points out.

A Holliday Fenoglio Fowler team handled the sale, which attracted numerous offers. In addition to Gibson, the team consisted of Barry Brown and Adam Howells, both in Dallas, and Glenn Whitmore in New York City. On the Hines side of the transaction were Staman Ogilvie, executive vice president, and Rob Witte while UBS’ negotiators were Bill Moreno and Ron Urdanick.

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