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CHATTANOOGA, TN-Locally based retail REIT CBL & Associates Properties Inc. said Wednesday it has closed on the second and third malls of a four-mall, $340-million acquisition from partnerships managed by Faison Enterprises, a real estate holding company based in Charlotte, NC. CBL says it paid $61 million (including $23 million in assumed debt) for the 784,775-sf River Ridge Mall in Lynchburg, VA and $86 million (including $45 million in assumed debt) for the 787,255-sf Valley View Mall in Roanoke.

River Ridge Mall is anchored by Belk, Hecht’s, JCPenney, Sears and Value City. The single-level regional mall is located on 74 acres at the intersection of US Routes 29 and 460 in Lynchburg. Opened in 1980, the mall was last renovated in 2000. Sales per sf in 2002 were $286 per sf and occupancy is around 90%. Valley View Mall, situated on 75 acres at the intersection of I-581 and Hershberger Road in Roanoke, is anchored by Belk, Hecht’s, JCPenney and Sears. The two-level regional mall opened in 1985 and was last renovated in 1999. Sales per sf in 2002 were $213 per sf and occupancy is around 82%. The acquisition includes an undeveloped anchor pad that could be used for a fifth anchor or as a lifestyle center location.

“The timely completion of these two acquisitions will enable us to implement seasonal and specialty leasing plans for the holidays,” says CBL president Stephen Lebovitz. “River Ridge Mall and Valley View Mall are located in growing middle markets and present upside opportunities in terms of increased occupancy, branding and specialty leasing.”

In early September, CBL closed on the largest of the four properties, the 1.05-million-sf Cross Creek Mall in Fayetteville, NC, paying $116 million for the property, including the assumption of $64 million in debt. 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.

When all four are closed, the company will have assumed $170 million of non-recourse fixed-rate debt with an average interest rate of 7.71%. The acquisition of the four regional malls is expected to generate an initial yield of 8.56% based upon current income.

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