Washington Prime buys Clay Terrace stake from Lauth

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Simon Property Group spinoff Washington Prime Group on Monday announced deals worth about $326 million involving at least seven shopping centers, including Clay Terrace in Carmel.

The new company said in a press release that it agreed to buy out its partner’s 50-percent share in the upscale Carmel retail center for $22.9 million and assume $57.5 million in debt.

The partner is Bob Lauth, CEO of Lauth Property Group, which co-developed Clay Terrace with Simon.

The 577,000-square-foot lifestyle center opened in 2004 and is anchored by Dick’s Sporting Goods, DSW and Whole Foods. The mall is nearly 98-percent occupied.

Lauth exchanged his interest in the property for Washington Prime partnership units, the company said. The deal is expected to close later this week.

“My partners and I have enjoyed strong returns from our ownership in Clay Terrace and we look forward to a profitable future as Washington Prime unit-holders,” Lauth said in a prepared statement.

In addition, Washington Prime said it acquired from a partner additional interest in a portfolio of seven open-air shopping centers—four in Florida and one each in Indiana, Connecticut and Virginia—for about $162 million, plus the assumption of $83.8 million in mortgage debt.

The company did not disclose the names of the properties or the name of the partner, but said the malls total 2.1 million square feet and are about 96-percent occupied.

The deal will give Washington Prime 100-percent ownership of four of the properties and 88.3-percent ownership in the other three, it said.

Washington Prime officials did not return a phone call seeking comment on the deals.

Simon announced the spinoff  of Washington Prime in December. The company went public in May. The new real estate investment trust owns or co-owns 98 retail properties, including 13 in Indiana.

Washington Prime shares rose 30 cents Tuesday, to close at $19.65 each.



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