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Trolley Track to Glendale Galleria? Caruso Eyes Rival Mall

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There's probably nothing worse than a friend telling you, "You look tired," which really means, "You don't look pretty." The tired phrase was trotted out yesterday by developer Rick Caruso, who stated that he's interested in purchasing and upgrading the rival Glendale Galleria, the mall that's just around the corner from Caruso's Americana at Brand. Here he is in the Glendale News Press: "I know the initial plans for Glendale for General Growth was to do that...That’s a very tired mall. I would love to see, whether it’s us or somebody else, improve it.” Caruso had a big legal tussle with General Growth in the past, of course, over tenants. More from the paper: "A spokesman for General Growth said the company was not familiar with Caruso’s interest and said the Galleria was not for sale.

“Glendale Galleria is a great property and one we’re very proud of,” David Keating, a spokesman for General Growth, said in a statement." According to the paper, the mall has had a major vacancy for more than a year, having lost Mervyn's to the economy. Meanwhile, Caruso made the comments as part of his announcement that he's forming a new venture to buy under-performing properties and transform the sites into retail and mixed-use destinations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

LEADING PRIVATE INVESTMENT FIRM, TPG CAPITAL, AND PREMIER RETAIL DEVELOPER, CARUSO AFFILIATED, FORM JOINT VENTURE TO ACQUIRE RETAIL AND MIXED-USE PROPERTIES

– Joint venture will invest up to $750 million in properties in the western U.S. –

LOS ANGELES - April 27, 2010 – TPG Capital and Caruso Capital Partners, LLC, an affiliate of Caruso Affiliated, have formed a joint venture to invest up to $750 million of debt and equity in opportunistic investments in retail centers and mixed-use properties in select markets in the western United States. Rick Caruso, President and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, will serve as CEO and Stephen Rader, President of Caruso Capital, will serve as President of the newly formed entity, Caruso-TPG Partners. Caruso and TPG will have equal representation on the Board of Directors.

“This is a powerhouse combination of capital and experience unlike any other in the market to acquire and reposition underperforming properties,” said Caruso. ”At Caruso, we have a proven track record and an in-house team of professionals with expertise in disciplines ranging from design and construction to leasing, marketing and property management – all the disciplines required to successfully execute this program. We found an ideal partner in TPG with its global investment experience and background in real estate, giving us a competitive advantage in securing top property opportunities in this depressed market,” he added.

Caruso-TPG Partners will target underperforming retail and mixed-use properties in mature markets where the Caruso team can apply its extensive knowledge and track record in creating exceptional retail and mixed-use environments. In addition, TPG’s portfolio encompasses thousands of retail locations, such as Neiman Marcus anchor sites, which adds distinctive sourcing and development experience to this joint venture.

“This is a unique opportunity to partner with one of the most successful owners, developers and operators of retail and mixed-use real estate in the United States,” said Kelvin Davis, TPG senior partner. “We look forward to working with Rick, Steve and the Caruso team to capitalize on attractive opportunities in the marketplace.”

TPG’s senior partners have extensive experience in real estate investing and the turnaround of distressed assets dating back to the early 1990s. In October 2009, TPG, in partnership with the FDIC and a group of investors, acquired a $4.5 billion portfolio of construction development loans and real estate owned (REO) assets formerly owned by Corus Bank, NA.

Acquisition opportunities may be submitted to Bryce Ross, Senior Director of Acquisitions, Caruso Capital Partners, at (323) 900-8100.
· Caruso eyes Galleria [Glendale News-Press]