LOS ANGELES-The Westfield Group has sold a majority stake in eight shopping centers across the country to Centro Properties Group and Somera Capital Management for $550 million. Seven of the centers are going to Centro and Somera is taking one.

Sydney, Australia-based Westfield, which has its US operations here, is selling the properties because they are not part of its core portfolio and don’t fit in with the company’s long-term redevelopment strategy, says Peter Lowy, Westfield’s group managing director. The company has divested similar assets in the United Kingdom.

Centro is taking full ownership of two of the centers, the 720,366-sf Enfield (CT) Square; and the 476,829-sf Westland, in Lakewood, CO. It is also acquiring a 95% interest in the other five, while Westfield will hold the remaining interest. Those centers are the 456,959-sf Eagle Rock, in Los Angeles; the one-million-sf Independence, in Wilmington, NC; the 1.1-million-sf Midway Mall, in Elyria, OH; the 727,185-sf Richland Mall, in Mansfield, OH; and the 501,038-sf West Park Mall, in Cape Girardeau, MO.

Australia-based Centro owns shopping centers in its home country, New Zealand and the US. The cap rate of its deal with Westfield comes in at 7%.

Westfield is selling the 1.7-million-sf Northwest Plaza, in St. Ann, MO, to Somera for $47 million. Santa Barbara, CA-based Somera acquires value-added real estate of numerous property types. In April the company bought a 151-room Howard Johnson hotel in Charleston, SC. Its retail holdings include the 1.4-million-sf Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix and the 570,120-sf Queen Ka’ahumanu Center in Maui, HI, among others across the country.

Westfield owns 128 centers in the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Its most recent domestic acquisition was the proposed purchase of the 300,000-sf Metreon retail-entertainment center in San Francisco with partner Forest City Enterprises. The two companies are spending $420 million in a one-million-sf expansion of the nearby 500,000-sf San Francisco Center.

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