LIMA — The new company that will own Lima Mall and Lima Center is taking shape.
This year, the company got a name, Washington Prime Group, and a CEO, Mark Ordan.
In December, Simon Property Group announced it would spin off its smaller enclosed malls and strip centers into a new company, with a real estate investment trust structure. The move allows Simon to focus on a global portfolio of larger malls and premium outlets.
The new company’s mission is to own stable, quality retail properties that effectively serve the communities in which they are located, Simon officials said.
Lima Mall is 743,356 square feet and has a 97 percent occupancy. Lima Center is 233,878 square feet and has a 99 percent occupancy. Other Ohio properties spun into the new company are located in Youngstown, Mentor and Richmond Heights. Many other properties are located in Indiana, Illinois, Florida and Texas. In all, Simon moved 44 malls and 54 strip centers across the country into the new company, which will have 53 million total square feet in 23 states.
The spin-off transaction isn’t yet complete and remains subject to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s declaration that Washington Prime Group’s registration statement is effective and Simon’s board of directors’ formal approval. The targeted completion date is some time in the second quarter.
Simon said the new company will have one of the largest, most diversified portfolios of strip centers and malls in the United States. Its scale and balance sheet will provide the ability to acquire assets.
While Washington Prime will have an independent board of directors and management team, it will have a relationship with Simon.
Richard Sokolov, Simon’s president, COO and member of its board of directors, will also become chairman of the board of directors of Washington Prime, and David Simon, chairman and CEO of Simon, will also serve as a director of Washington Prime.
Some of the anchor tenants in the Washington Prime properties, such as J.C. Penney and Sears, are struggling, but the company has denied that is the reason for the spinoff. Company officials point to recently added or expanded anchor tenants in other locations, such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ulta Beauty, Bed Bath & Beyond and Walmart.