Mall at Robinson sold to Australian firm
The Mall at Robinson, one of the Pittsburgh area's larger retail venues, has been acquired by an Australian investment firm in a multimillion dollar deal that could breathe new life into the 16-year-old center.
Forest City Realty Trust, based in Cleveland, said Monday it completed its previously announced sale of its interest in the mall to QIC, which has retail and commercial holdings around the world.
“The sale of the Mall at Robinson is part of a larger strategy for the company to exit our standalone retail malls across the company and our specialty retail centers (strip centers) in the New York City area and to focus on office, apartment and mixed-use assets,” Jeff Linton, Forest City's senior vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but the sale of the Robinson Mall is the fourth retail center that Forest City has sold to QIC, which already had an ownership stake in the mall. The Mall at Robinson was recently reassessed by Allegheny County at $89 million.
Overall, QIC is acquiring additional interests of Forest City — a joint venture partner — in 10 regional malls in a deal valued at about $3.2 billion. Other holdings acquired by the Australian company are in California, New York, Nevada, Florida and Virginia.
“We view the U.S. real estate market and the retail sector in particular as a strong investment opportunity,” Steve Leigh, QIC's managing director of Global Real Estate, said in a statement.
“We understand the importance of regional malls to their local communities and have the capability and the capital to evolve these assets into multi-faceted destinations.”
The 880,000-square-foot mall is anchored by Sears, JC Penney and Macy's. Other retailers include Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle Outfitters, Things Remembered and Banana Republic.
Forest City has been an active investor in the Pittsburgh real estate market since 1994, when it acquired Station Square on the city's South Side. It also owns the adjoining Commerce Court office building.