FASHION CENTER OWNER TO SELL MALL; CHICAGO FIRM WILL BUY NORTHRIDGE SITE.
The Northridge Fashion Center is getting a new owner.
MEPC plc, London-based parent of MEPC American Properties that bought the mall a month before the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, agreed to sell eight U.S. shopping centers to General Growth Properties in Chicago for $871 million.
The purchase, which includes the Northridge mall, is expected to close in 45 days. No price for the local mall was given.
``We're actually very optimistic about it,'' said Annette Bethers, marketing director for the Northridge mall. ``General Growth, being a very large developer, has a lot of clout in the industry. We expect them to make the Northridge Fashion Center even more of a success than it already is.''
MEPC is in the process of divesting its assets outside of England.
The other malls being sold are in Bakersfield, Las Vegas, Rochester, Minn.; Atlanta, San Antonio, Jacksonville, Fla.; and New Orleans.
The new owner is expected to retain the staff at the eight shopping centers. General Growth also owns the Fallbrook Mall in West Hills.
The purchase will not affect the mall's renovation of its north wing, which will add a 10-screen Pacific Theater complex, Borders Books & Music, a Claim Jumper restaurant and about a dozen more eateries and shops.
Bethers said the new additions should be open in the third quarter.