Westfield Brandon Mall has sold.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield announced it has sold the 1.15-million-square-foot mall for $220 million. The buyer was the West Palm Beach real estate investment firm North American Development Group along with “an institutional investor.”
North American did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its plans for the Hillsborough County property.
While the timing — and the sale price — might have caught some off guard, the sale has been a long time in coming. URW has been saying that it was looking to exit the U.S. market since as far back as 2021.
URW was created in 2018 when Unibail-Rodamco merged with Westfield, at the time one of the premier shopping center owners in the U.S. At the time, the company said the merger created “the strongest and most respected names in the real estate industry to build on their legacies.”
But years of changing shopper habits and stagnating sales at traditional malls coupled with the pandemic soured the partnership and URW began to sell off properties. At one point, URW owned several prominent malls in the region, including Sarasota Square and Crossings at Siesta Key but sold both off, and others, due in part at least to the hit it took during the pandemic.
Yet despite the negatives, Westfield Brandon brought a far higher sale price than mall properties have been getting in recent years. Just a few weeks back, The Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel sold for $70.5 million.
The answer to why an investor was willing to pay so much more for a mall property than others have paid likely won’t be known until North American announces its plans for the property.
For now, Westfield Brandon’s occupancy rate is at 84.5%. It’s current tenant line up, according to its website, includes an Apple Store, Books-a-Million, Macy’s and Dillard’s.