Centennial spends $199M to buy Westfield mall in Santa Clarita

Sale was an alternative to foreclosure after parent UBW defaulted on $195M loan

Centennial Buys Santa Clarita Westfield Mall for $199M
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield's Jean-Marie Tritant and Valencia Town Center at 24201 Valencia Boulevard (URW, Getty, Google Maps)

Dallas-based real estate firm Centennial has bought a mall in Santa Clarita from Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, about nine months after Unibail defaulted on a loan tied to the shopping center. 

Centennial bought the 1 million-square-foot Valencia Town Center for $199 million, according to an announcement from Paris-based URW this week. URW held a 50 percent stake in the mall, which was sold for $199 a square foot. 

The sale was an alternative to a foreclosure, according to special servicer comments on a $195 million commercial mortgage-backed securities loan tied to the mall, located at 24201 Valencia Boulevard.

URW missed its deadline to pay off the CMBS debt — originated by UBS and Barclays — in January, according to Trepp data, and has been in default on the loan ever since.

The default apparently did not have a drastic effect on the value of the mall — URW said the deal represented a discount of less than 3 percent compared to the mall’s appraisal in December. The mall was 87 percent occupied when it was sold. 

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In 2022, URW announced it was looking to “radically reduce” its exposure to U.S. assets. So far, in Southern California, the firm has sold almost $1.4 billion worth of malls. 

In Southern California, URW has sold the 1.5 million-square-foot Santa Anita complex in Arcadia for $538 million, The Village in Woodland Hills to Stan Kroenke for $325 million and a 1.1 million-square-foot mall in San Diego for $290 million. Those deals have all traded at higher prices on a square foot basis, compared to the Valencia Town Center. 

URW has also ceased making payments on a $558 million mortgage tied to Westfield San Francisco Centre, which it owns with Brookfield. 

Centennial, which says it has a portfolio of 22 million square feet, recently resolved its own issues on a loan tied to its MainPlace mall in Santa Ana. The firm and its partner USAA Real Estate scored an extension on its $140 million CMBS debt, according to Morningstar, after the loan was sent to special servicing earlier this year.

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