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11/21/2023

WPG secures $1 billion in mortgage financing

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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CEO Chris Conlon: "We are now in the strongest financial position in the history of our company."."

WPG, the owner of 80-plus malls and open-air centers that filed for bankruptcy in 2021, has made a deal that it claims re-establishes it as a top-tier retail real estate operator.

The Columbus-based company--formerly known as WP Glimcher, and then Washington Prime Group after it split from Simon Property Group--has announced the closing of a $1 billion securitized mortgage financing. 

Investment firm Strategic Value Partners involved Goldman Sachs, Citi, and JPMorgan Chase in the deal that is collateralized by 38 open-air centers across 15 states.

“In a very challenging market, together with SVP, we were able to put new financing in place that will provide us with greater financial and operating flexibility,” WPG CEO Chris Conlon stated in a press release announcing the deal. “As we look ahead to 2024 and beyond, we are now in the strongest financial position in the history of our company and are well positioned to deliver high growth.”

WPG owns 60 open-air centers and 29 malls that it reports having a 92% occupancy rate portfolio-wide. Its properties comprise 40 million sq. ft. of gross leaseable area covering 29 states.

Arbor Hills in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Edison Mall in Fort Myers, Fla.; MacGregor Mall in in Cary, N.C.; Scottsdale Quarter in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Town Center at Aurora in Aurora, Colo., are among its properties. 

“This transaction refines WPG’s position in the capital markets and reflects the success of the company’s operational transformation over the last two years,” said Jonathan Waggoner, co-head of the North American Operating Team at SVP. “A transaction of this size underlines WPG’s status as a top-tier owner of highly desirable shopping centers across the country.”

Chris Conlon, who assumed the lead role at WPG in February of 2022, spent the previous 13 years at Acadia Realty Trust as the senior VP of leasing and development before being named the company’s COO in 2011.