Blackstone affiliate closes on purchase of national retail giant

From left: Michael Carroll, Blackstone senior managing director Jonathan Gray, Kings Park Shopping Center and Highridge Plaza in Yonkers

BRE Retail Holdings, an affiliate of Blackstone Real Estate Partners, has closed on the purchase of Centro Properties Group for $9 billion, Centro announced today. The sale includes 585 community and neighborhood shopping malls and related retail assets adding up to 92.1 million square feet across 39 states. BRE has also taken on Centro’s U.S. property management platform, comprising 18 offices and 600 employees. Centro is the second largest owner of community and neighborhood shopping in the United States, and has holdings in New York such as the Kings Park Shopping Center in Kings Park and the Highridge Plaza center in Yonkers.

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Michael Carroll, the current CEO of Centro U.S., as well as the six additional members of the company’s management committee, based in a corporate office at 420 Lexington Avenue, will continue in their current positions.

“We are now capitalized to aggressively lease and reposition space and to support our retailers’ growth strategies,” Carroll said. When combined with the scale and breadth of our portfolio, there are few landlords as well positioned to be long-term partners with our retailers.”

A.J. Agarwal, senior managing director of Blackstone, commented: “We are extremely excited about this transaction, which enables us to expand our retail real estate presence with a leading platform.” — Katherine Clarke