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KKR Invests in Outlets

The outlet center space just got even more crowded. Bloomberg reports that private equity firm KKR has bought the Legends Outlets in Kansas City in a foreclosure auction for $131.5 million. Other bidders for the property included REITs Macerich and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers and private owners DRA Advisors and Craig Realty Group. KKR has been planning to start investing in retail real estate for months, and this will be among its first acquisitions in the sector.

The Legends Outlets is a 1.1-million-sq.-ft. outlet center that was developed as part of the larger Village West project and opened in 2006. According to the Bloomberg story:

KKR is betting that the outlet center will draw shoppers because it’s near such attractions as the auto racetrack, a major-league soccer stadium and a minor-league baseball field, said Ralph Rosenberg, head of real estate at KKR. Legends is located next to a Nebraska Furniture Mart store that has annual sales of more than $400 million and attracts between 2 million and 5 million visitors a year, according to Katie Rager, a spokeswoman for the furniture chain, owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
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