Friday, March 1, 2024

Big San Jose regional shopping mall is slated to be sold by mid-year

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SAN JOSE — The owner of the Westfield Oakridge shopping center has struck a deal to sell the south San Jose regional mall, a deal that’s part of a years-long strategy to slash the company’s mall holdings in the United States.

A potential buyer has agreed to acquire the big San Jose mall, France-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the mall’s owner, stated in materials related to the company’s 2023 financial report.

“Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield signed a sale, purchase and escrow agreement with a $30 million non-refundable deposit for the disposal of Westfield Oakridge,” the retail behemoth stated in an earnings report this week.

The potential buyer wasn’t identified. The deal is slated to be accomplished by mid-year.

“The transaction is expected to be completed in Q2-2024,” Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield stated, which equates to the April-through-June quarter of this year.

Westfield Oakridge is one of the Bay Area’s largest regional malls and occupies a site that’s bounded by Blossom Hill Road, Winfield Boulevard, Thornwood Drive and Santa Teresa Boulevard.

It’s no surprise that Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is attempting to sell Westfield Oakridge.

For years, URW has repeatedly told investors that it was attempting to dramatically slash the size of its exposure to the U.S. market as a way to greatly ease its debt burdens.

Three years ago, in early 2021, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said it had embarked on a quest to dispose of numerous assets in the United States, including both Westfield Oakridge and Westfield Valley Fair, which also is in San Jose.

During a conference call with investors, Jean-Marie Tritant, chief executive officer of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, reiterated that the company was attempting to slash the size of its shopping center portfolio in the United States.

Jonathan Kownator, an analyst with investment firm Goldman Sachs, pressed Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield on whether the company might ease up on its sales efforts in the United States.

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