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MAUI-The Queen Ka’ahumanu Center, the only regional mall on the island, has traded hands for $75 million. Maui Land & Pineapple Co. and the State of Hawaii Employee Retirement System sold the 570,000-sf regional center to a partnership of Los Angeles-based Somera Investment Partners LLC, CoastWood Capital Group LLC of Greenwich, CT, and Seligman Western Enterprises Ltd. of Southfield. MI.

The 30-acre mall was built by Dillingham in the early 1970s and underwent a $72-million renovation and expansion in 1994. It was 80% leased at the time of sale. Anchors include Macy’s, Sears, and a new Macy’s Men’s, Children’s and Home that replaced JCPenney. The mall was Maui Land & Pineapple’s largest non-agricultural property.

Somera Investment Partners managing director Steve Plenge tells GlobeSt.com that in-line store sales at the mall are $350 per sf and the as-is capitalization rate on the investment is in the “mid-8%” range. The partners plan to put several million into the property over the next few years while continuing to upgrade the tenant mix, says Plenge, including the addition of some big box retailer not already on the island. General Growth Properties’ team in Hawaii has been selected to manage and lease the property.

“It is well located, and we think we can build on some of the momentum Maui Land and Pineapple has created at this center,” says Plenge. “Our strategy is to solidify our current local customer base, and to reach out to more of the tourist market.”

Queen Ka’ahumanu Center is Somera’s third mall acquisition this year, bringing its retail portfolio to just over two million sf. Earlier this year, Somera acquired the 505,000-sf Mall of Victor Valley near Los Angeles for approximately $70 million, and the 1.1-million-sf West Oaks Mall in Houston for an undisclosed price.

Somera Investment Partners is a majority-owned subsidiary of Santa Barbara-based Somera Capital Management LLC, a private equity real estate investment company that acquires all types of commercial real estate targeted for redevelopment, enhancement or repositioning in select markets nationwide. Somera Investment Partners specifically targets secondary regional and super-regional malls, lifestyle centers and unique urban buildings. Somera says its shopping center acquisition goal is $200 to $300 million annually.

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