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MACERICH ACQUIRES SARASOTA SQUARE FROM PROVIDENT LIFE; DEAL FOR FLORIDA MALL ONE OF LARGEST IN INDUSTRY IN 1991

 MACERICH ACQUIRES SARASOTA SQUARE FROM PROVIDENT LIFE;
 DEAL FOR FLORIDA MALL ONE OF LARGEST IN INDUSTRY IN 1991
 SARASOTA, Fla., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- In one of the largest transactions in the shopping center industry during the past year, The MaceRich Company has purchased the 903,000-square-foot Sarasota Square mall in Florida.
 The center is the dominant regional mall in a Gulf Coast metro area that's one of the fastest growing markets in the entire United States.
 MaceRich, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif., completed the acquisition of the property from Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Provident Life & Accident today, after assuming management and leasing responsibilities in early November.
 Opened in 1977 and expanded in 1989, the center is anchored by Burdine's, JC Penney, Sears and Parisian. The expansion, which followed a mall-wide renovation in 1986, added Parisian and 40 new specialty tenants, raising the total number of stores to 140. Plans are under way to add a fifth major department store.
 More than double the size of the market's two other enclosed malls combined, Sarasota Square has a 99 percent occupancy rate and generates specialty store sales in excess of $240 per square foot.
 The property is located just south of the Sarasota city limits at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Beneva Road, in a high-growth area characterized by a strong influx of middle and upper-income residents.
 "We think the center is positioned perfectly to be the dominant retailing force in a very wide trade area for years to come," said MaceRich Executive Vice President Arthur Coppola. "Approximately 75 percent of the developable land in Sarasota County is located within three to five miles of the site, ensuring major real growth and an influx of people over the long term."
 Noting that the purchase came during a year in which mall acquisition activity was at a virtual standstill, Edward Coppola, Sr., vice president-director of acquisitions, commented: "MaceRich made an active decision recently to re-enter the acquisitions market due to Sarasota Square's inherent quality and long-term growth prospects. Having literally reviewed every mall acquisition opportunity in the U.S., we unequivocally concluded that Sarasota Square is the finest property to come on the market in the past three years."
 Although only a handful of specialty store spaces are currently available in the mall, opportunities to locate new stores in Sarasota Square will arise over the next four years when leases expire on some 68,000-square-feet of space.
 "While our intention is not to re-position this into a high-end mall, there is certainly room for a selective number of upscale fashion stores that this market could easily support," said Carey Webb, vice president-leasing for MaceRich's eastern region.
 Sarasota Square serves a total trade area comprised of over 271,000 people in 123,000 households throughout Sarasota County.
 Approximately three-quarters of those people live within a 20-minute drive of the mall.
 MaceRich owns and/or manages 39 shopping centers, including 19 enclosed malls, in 15 states. Total gross leasable area in its properties exceeds 19 million square-feet.
 -0- 12/20/91
 /CONTACT: Edward Coppola of MaceRich, 214-385-9858; or Bill Parness of Parness & Associates, 908-290-0121/ CO: The MaceRich Company; Sarasota Square; Provident Life & Accident ST: Florida, California IN: REA SU: TNM


KD-JT -- NY054 -- 4423 12/20/91 14:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 20, 1991
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