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BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI-In one of the largest single-mall financings completed in the US, Taubman Centers Inc. has completed a $540-million, fixed-rate refinance of the 1.3-million-sf Mall at Short Hills in Short Hills, NJ.

The 10-year loan, with a fixed-rate interest of 5.5% and no amortization, is being used to retire about $469 million of floating rate debt with a weighted average interest rate of 6.3%. Taubman’s current debt consists of a $260-million facility with a 6.7% fixed rate for the New Jersey mall along Route 24 and a $107-million construction loan for Northlake Mall in Charlotte, NC. The company will also use some of the new capital to pay off a line of credit, which stands at $102 million.

No one at Taubman was available for comment, but in a press release issued this morning, Lisa A. Payne, Taubman’s vice chairman and CFO, says the value of the refinancing proved “the material value creation that has occurred at Short Hills since the existing loan was placed in 1999.” She adds the loan allows Taubman to “save significantly on our interest costs during 2006 and beyond, reduce our leverage and lower our floating rate exposure to 12.5% of total debt.” Taubman’s current floating rate exposure is 22%. The collateral property is anchored by Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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