Ian Ritter is national online editor of GlobeSt.RETAIL.

MASSAPEQUA, NY-The Westfield Group is buying the 1.3 million-sf Sunrise Mall here from a private partnership called Sunrise Mall Associates in a $143-million deal. Sydney, Australia-based Westfield executives expect the deal to close some time in the second half of the year.

Westfield is acquiring the center at a cap rate of 7.9%. Sales per-sf at Sunrise Mall are $338, just below the national average of $366 for enclosed malls, as tallied by the International Council of Shopping Centers.

J.C. Penney, Macy’s, Sears and Wal-Mart anchor Sunrise, which is on Long Island, about 40 miles east of New York City. The center would be Westfield’s seventh in the Tri-State area, joining South Shore in Bayshore, NY; Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ; as well as centers in Enfield, Meriden, and Trumbull, CT; and Connecticut Post in Milford.

“Sunrise offers both short and long-term redevelopment opportunities and is a very good geographic fit with existing assets in the region,” says Peter Lowy, Westfield’s managing director. The company is redeveloping other US centers, including its one million-sf Westfield Shoppingtown Topanga, in Canoga Park, CA, which it is expanding by 600,000 sf at a cost of $300 million. That expansion, which will add 100 specialty stores and a Neiman Marcus, is planned for a spring 2008 opening.

In the US, Westfield owns 67 centers. The company also operates 40 in Australia, 11 in New Zealand and eight in the United Kingdom.

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