Investment firm QIC, headquartered in Brisbane, has further expanded its joint venture relationship with Forest City Enterprises Inc. through the acquisition of a 49% stake in Ballston Common Mall in Arlington, Virginia.
Steven Leigh, Managing Director of QIC Global Real Estate, said: “The agreement QIC has reached with Forest City expands our interest in the attractive U.S. retail property market, and further demonstrates our flourishing relationship with Forest City, a highly experienced and long-term investor in prime real estate throughout the U.S."“Our working relationship with Forest City Enterprises and our complementary experience in master planning, strategic leasing and development activity will be particularly valuable as we extend our partnership to this asset,” Mr Leigh said.
This agreement brings to 12 the total number of assets acquired by QIC on behalf of its clients.
In February 2016, QIC announced that it had acquired a 51% stake in the Ridge Hill retail shopping canter located in Westchester County, New York.
In 2015, QIC acquired a 100% stake in The Shops at Tanforan shopping center in San Bruno, California, in the San Francisco Bay area, and assisted AustralianSuper in acquiring a 25% stake in Honolulu’s Ala Moana Shopping Center.
Ballston Common Mall is a 55,000 square metre enclosed urban retail complex located in an affluent, high-growth corridor approximately seven kilometres west of Washington, D.C. at the intersection of Glebe Road and Wilson Boulevard in the heart of Arlington, Virginia.
It is anchored by Macy’s, Regal Cinemas and Sport and Health Club and incorporates about 85 speciality retailers.
Ballston Common is poised for a future expansion that will transform it into a mixed-use destination incorporating restaurants, take home food, entertainment, retail and residential.
Both QIC and Forest City will work to obtain the required approvals for the proposed master planned development.
Mr Leigh said this acquisition further expands QIC’s participation in the U.S. retail property market as a core element of its business strategy.
“We view the U.S. as very attractive, incorporating familiar drivers in investment markets and real estate operating fundamentals. Our existing portfolio is achieving good income growth off the back of robust retail sales, coupled with a sustained low interest rate environment," Mr Leigh said.
“We see further opportunities here, and our active management approach means that we are constantly monitoring prospects in the market. The continued expansion of our interests in the retail sector across the U.S. enables us to provide our clients with an opportunity to capture the performance of prime U.S. retail real estate markets."