ONTARIO, CA-A commingled fund advised by JPMorgan Fleming has agreed to acquire a 50% interest in the 1.7-million-sf Ontario Mills Mall, one of the largest shopping venues in Southern California, in a $243-million transaction. The deal is considered one of the largest retail transactions ever executed in the Inland Empire.

The JPMorgan Fleming fund is buying the joint-venture interest in the property from Arlington, VA-based Mills Corp. and Germany’s Kan Am Realty Inc. While Kan Am conveys its entire 35% partnership interest to the fund, Mills Corp. relinquishes 15%.

The deal includes $73 million of joint-venture debt on the property, which carries a $146-million mortgage. The transaction is expected to close this month, with Mills staying on as managing general partner of the joint venture. The Mills Corp., a real estate investment trust, will receive net proceeds of $50 million, which will go to reduce the balance on its outstanding line of credit and for general corporate purposes. The deal represents the first joint venture between Mills and JPMorgan Fleming.

Ontario Mills, with 200 retailers, occupies a site at the intersection of Interstate 10 and Interstate 15 and is considered by local retail experts to be a catalyst for a number of retail centers, restaurants and other projects that have been developed near the mall in recent years.

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