Short Pump Town Center is slated for an upgrade as one of the mall’s co-owners prepares to sell a nearly 25 percent ownership stake in the 1.3 million-square-foot shopping center.
Developer Forest City Enterprises is planning to begin extensive renovations at Short Pump Town Center in early 2014, company spokesman Jeff Linton said.
“[We have] very exciting plans for major renovations,” said Tommy Pruitt, a principal at Pruitt Associates which, along with Forest City, co-owns the shopping center.
Neither Forest City nor Short Pump mall management would provide specifics on the planned changes or the costs, but mall marketing director Pam Howland said it would include new retailers, landscaping, events and amenities.
On Monday, Cleveland-based Forest City announced a deal to sell 49 percent of its ownership stake in eight U.S. malls, including Short Pump, to Australian institutional investment firm QIC.
Forest City has 50 percent ownership of Short Pump Town Center, with the other half belonging to Richmond-based Pruitt Associates. Forest City will sell 49 percent of its stake – or 24.5 percent of the mall – to QIC. Pruitt will retain its 50 percent.
“Basically nothing changes with Short Pump Town Center.,” said Pruitt. “Short Pump Town Center is just part of a larger deal Forest City and QIC put together.”
Terms of sale were not disclosed, but Linton said that the deal is expected to generate about $330 million in proceeds for Forest City when it is closed. Linton expects the agreement to be finalized by the end of October.
Forest City plans to use most of the cash from the transaction to reduce debt. Another portion of the money will fund upgrades at Short Pump, as well as renovations at malls in Nevada and California. Forest City will continue to handle leasing, marketing and management operations at each of the properties.
Short Pump Town Center, which houses more than 140 retailers, has since April been soliciting input for improvements. The mall, which opened in 2003, launched the campaign in celebration of its 10th anniversary, Howland said.
“Our customers can tell us what they want to see here, whether it’s more fire pits or specific restaurants or retailers,” she said.
IKEA, the Container Store and Lush Cosmetics are among the most-requested retailers, according to an online suggestion board. Shoppers also say they want a farmers market and Wi-Fi.