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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Geoffrey has left the building: Toys “R” Us hires advisory firm to sell US properties

Raider Hill will lead the the effort to unload 14.5M sf of stores and other properties
By Dennis Lynch | July 25, 2018 02:00PM

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Toys “R” Us is bringing in Raider Hill Advisors to help sell off 284 stores, distribution centers and other properties around the country. The move comes four months after the once mighty toy retailer announced it would shutter all of its stores following its bankruptcy.

The company announced that New York-based Raider Hill, a private real estate investment and advisory firm, would lead “efforts to maximize the value” of the properties, which span 14.5 million square feet in 46 states, according to a press release.

Toys “R” Us — with its mascot Geoffrey the giraffe — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. At the time it had $5 billion in long-term debt and $400 million due in 2018. The New Jersey-based company is expected to pay around $350 million to consultants, bankers and lawyers involved in the bankruptcy before any creditors can get their hands on proceeds from liquidations and property sales.

The largest property is a 972,000-square-foot distribution center in McDonough, Georgia. Los Angeles area properties number around 10. There are about half a dozen each in New York City, Chicago, and between Miami and Palm Beach.

The portfolio includes Babies “R” Us stores, distribution centers in California and Maryland and the company’s Wayne, New Jersey, headquarters, which spans 585,000 square feet. Former store locations are a mix of wholly-owned properties and ground leases.

The properties represent around a third of the 735 total Toys “R” Us stores nationwide. The rest are leases with “a zillion freaking landlords,” that will likely be handled on an individual basis, according to retail consultant Jan Rogers Kniffen.