ROSEMONT, IL-Horizon Group Properties Inc., based here, has acquired a trio of outlet shopping centers with a total of 673,587 sf in gross leasable area for $59.1 million. The shopping centers were acquired from an affiliate of Prime Retail Inc., based in Campbell, CA. The purchase included the assumption of $53 million of existing debt. Cap rates were not disclosed. The outlet shopping centers are located in Fremont, IN; Burlington, WA; and Oshkosh, WI.

Horizon acquired the properties because they were well located with core tenants. “They are all solid properties in their own rights and we think that we can add a lot of value to each of them,” says Gary Skoien, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon. All of the centers were constructed during the 1990s, Skoien says. The centers, formerly all named Prime Outlet, have been renamed. Prime Retail now has 23 Prime Outlet centers in the US, including the pictured Prime Outlets International in the Orlando area.

The Outlet Shoppes at Burlington, at 448 Fashion Way, has 174,055 sf and is currently 88% leased. Major tenants include Coach, Liz Claiborne, Gap Outlet, Nine West, Lane Bryant, Eddie Bauer, Harry and David, Vans Shoes, Carter’s Childrenswear, Tommy Hilfiger, Jones New York and Reebok. The center in Burlington will be redeveloped, as Horizon plans to enlarge the center by 60,000 sf to 100,000 sf, Skoien says. “Burlington needs some more critical mass,” he says.

The Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh, at 3001 S. Washburn, is a 270,607 sf center that is currently 90% leased, Skoien says. Major tenants include Gap Outlet, Old Navy Outlet, PacSun, Oshkosh B’Gosh, Stride Rite, Lands’ End, Liz Claiborne, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, VF Outlet, Zales the Diamond Outlet and Aeropostale. “Oshkosh is doing very well but we think we can improve the marketing to make it do better,” he says.

The Outlet Shoppes at Fremont, located at 6245 N. Old 27, is a 228,525 sf shopping center that is about 85% leased, he says. Major tenants include Coach, Carter’s Childrenswear, Gap Outlet, Jones New York, Levi’s/Dockers, Polo Ralph Lauren, Reebok, Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica. The shopping center in Fremont is “a little bit of a disjointed property” with one half of the center “working extremely well and the other half is not quite as strong,” he says. Horizon plans to improve the marketing and the leasing for the center as well as some physical improvements to the property, he says.

Skoien says the market is “still heated up;” although that may not remain the case with credit becoming harder to obtain. Horizon focuses on outlet malls where “the prices are still pretty strong and the cap rates are probably the lowest they have ever been.”

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