Starwood Capital Group has recently made one of the biggest deals of the year in the U.S. mall sector, but don't look for Starwood to become a major retail landlord any time soon.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Starwood CEO Barry Sternlicht explains the reasons the firm wanted a stake in the Westfield portfolio: some of the malls are the dominant properties in their markets, plus Starwood hopes to rework the debt on the assets, given the low interest rate environment. The firm will also try to increase sales at the centers by bringing in more food and entertainment tenants.
“We can add additional malls to the portfolio, but this is a one-off,” Sternlicht said in a Bloomberg Television interview from the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California. “If we don't buy another one, fine. If we find something good, that is fine too.”
He later added that Starwood is happy to stick with properties the major mall REITs no longer want to hold.