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CHATTANOOGA, TN-CBL & Associates has begun closing on a $340-million acquisition of four regional malls from partnerships managed by Faison Enterprises, a Charlotte, NC-based real estate holding company.

The four malls, three in Virginia and one in North Carolina, range in size from 626,806 sf to 1.05 million sf. The transaction includes the assumption of $170 million in non-recourse fixed-rate debt with an average interest rate of 7.71%, while the properties are expected to generate an initial yield of 8.56%.

CBL recently closed on the largest of the four properties, the 1.05-million-sf Cross Creek Mall located off the All-American Expressway in Fayetteville, NC. CBL paid $116 million for the property, including the assumption of $64 million in debt. Anchored by Hecht’s, Sears and JCPenney, it is a super regional, one-level mall that opened in 1975 and was last renovated in 2002. Sales per sf in 2002 were $364. The mall is currently 94.7% occupied.

Closings for the 784,775-sf River Ridge Mall in Lynchburg and the 787,255-sf Valley View Mall in Roanoke are expected in the next 30 days, according to CBL. The fourth property, the 626,806-sf Southpark Mall in Colonial Heights, is scheduled for closing late in the fourth quarter, though CBL already has assumed management of the property.

CBL vice chairman and CFO John Foy was not available for comment Thursday. The company’s director of investor relations Kelly Sargent said information on the occupancy and sales per sf at the malls still to be acquired would be released at the close of each transaction.

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