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Simon names spinoff Washington Prime Group, picks CEO

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Simon Property Group Inc. has chosen Washington Prime Group Inc. as the name for its planned spinoff of strip shopping centers and smaller enclosed malls, and hired Mark Ordan to be the new company’s CEO.

Ordan was most recently CEO of McLean, Va.-based Sunrise Senior Living Inc., which was sold last year to Health Care REIT Inc. and private-equity firm KKR & Co., Indianapolis-based Simon announced Tuesday.

Before that, Ordan was CEO of Virginia-based mall developer Mills Corp., which was acquired by Simon and Farallon Capital Management LLC in 2007.

Ordan also was the founder of Fresh Fields, which was sold to Whole Foods Market Inc. He lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife and family.

Simon, the largest U.S. real estate investment trust, is focused on redeveloping its top regional malls, opening outlet centers and investing overseas to boost growth. The company, whose strip-center business accounts for 3.3 percent of its net operating income, in December said the new REIT will be better able to pursue acquisitions and development.

“We worked closely with Mark during the Mills transaction and found him to be a top-rate executive with particular expertise in creating value for an organization,” David Simon, chairman and CEO of Simon Property, said in a prepared statement. “I am very confident Mark has the retail real estate operating experience to lead this exciting new company.”

The new Indianapolis-based REIT will own 98 retail properties, including 13 in Indiana, and is expected to generate net operating income of more than $400 million in its first year, Simon said in its December statement. Simon expected the spinoff to be completed in the first half of 2014.

David Simon will be a director of the new REIT and Richard Sokolov, Simon’s president and chief operating officer, will become chairman, according to the December statement.

Simon shares fell 63 cents, to $159.28, Tuesday afternoon, but were up 5.1 percent this year through Monday.

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