By Dennis Seid
TUPELO – One of the largest mall owners in the country has bought a 51 percent controlling interest in The Mall at Barnes Crossing and the nearby Market Center shopping center.
Rouse Properties, a New York-based real estate investment trust, entered a joint venture with Owensboro, Kentucky-based David Hocker and Associates, one of the original owners of the mall and the center.
Rouse takes over as the managing owner of the properties.
The deal, valued at nearly $99 million, includes a one-year, $67 million non-recourse loan, which is a loan secured by collateral.
Rouse purchased the ownership share of R.F. Coffin Enterprises of Cleveland, Ohio, which had been the joint venture partners with David Hocker & Associates when they opened the mall in March 1990.
“We are excited to announce our investment in The Mall at Barnes Crossing and Market Center in partnership with David Hocker & Associates, a developer, owner and operator with whom we have a strong relationship and deep respect for,” said Andrew Silberfein, president and CEO of Rouse Properties.
“The acquisition represents Rouse’s 36th mall and 23rd state and is consistent with the company’s goal to continue to upgrade and diversify its asset base across the country.”
Rouse’s addition of The Mall at Barnes Crossing, a 680,000-square-foot super-regional mall, gives the company some 25 million square feet of retail space across the country.
The mall is among the top-performing large retail properties in the state and region, with a 94.1 percent occupancy rate and sales of about $360 per square foot.
Mall management has been unchanged by the announcement.
“The combination of Rouse’s national platform and Hocker’s experience and proven track record will enable us to drive revenue and sales productivity and optimize the merchandising mix at the properties,” Silberfein said.
David E. Hocker, chairman of David Hocker and Associates, said his company has been “highly focused on the Tupelo market for more than 25 years and are pleased and honored by the opportunity to partner and work with the outstanding team at Rouse. The energy and vision that Rouse brings to our partnership offers great promise for the future of The Mall at Barnes Crossing and Market Center.”