Simon, BR Malls JV to Develop Outlet Malls in Brazil
By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor
Simon Property Group has teamed up with BR Malls Participacoes S.A., Brazil’s largest retail real estate company, to develop and own outlet centers in Brazil. The first outlet center of the 50/50 joint venture agreement is expected to open in Brazil’s largest state, Sao Paolo, in 2013.
“This is the unique combination of the experience of the world’s leading owner and operator of outlet centers with the local expertise of the largest shopping mall company in Brazil,” said Carlos Medeiros, CEO of BR Malls. “Through this JV, we will bring to the Brazilian consumer the real outlet center concept, offering national and international designer and name brands at discounted prices.”
John Klein, president of Simon’s Premium Outlets division, noted that large numbers of Brazilian customers already visit Simon’s outlets in the United States.
“We are very pleased to be partnering with a world class organization like BR Malls to bring Simon’s Premium Outlets to Brazil,” he added.
Brazil continues to see strong consumer spending growth, according to Global Retail Marketview, a CBRE Global Research and Consulting report for the third quarter of 2011. That report noted retail sales in Brazil were up 6 percent over the same period in 2010. CBRE Global Capital MarketView, a fourth-quarter 2011 report, stated that Brazil led the Latin American market last year in all commercial real estate transactions and that retail investments, particularly in Brazil, had outpaced the office sector. A year-end report by RICS, the Americas Commercial Property Survey, noted, “Brazil results remain robust, despite the economic slowdown, with rising rental and capital value expectations.”
Other American-based companies are eyeing Brazil for CRE investments expecting that the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics will bring even more of a boom to the Latin American country. Commercial Property Executive reported in early March that Jorge Perez and Stephen Ross, who run Related Group and Related Cos., had launched Related Brasil to focus on $1 billion in residential and commercial real estate investments. Clarion Partners said earlier this year that it had formed a joint venture with one of its clients to develop and lease a Class A industrial facility on 78 acres in a northwest suburb of Sao Paulo.
The BR Malls deal was the second international JV announced Tuesday by Simon, the world’s leading retail real estate company and largest developer, owner and operator of outlet shopping centers. The smaller JV is an agreement between Simon and Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust, one of Canada’s largest REITs, to begin construction of Canada’s first upscale outlet center on April 25. Toronto Premium Outlets, a 500,000-square-foot development, will house more than 100 high-quality stores and be built in the town of Halton Hills. It is expected to open in the summer of 2013. SmartCentres, a private Canadian company that has developed more than 200 shopping centers in the country, worked to secure the approvals needed to move the project forward. Simon will provide the leasing, management and marketing for the outlet center.
Simon has been on an international shopping spree in recent months. In early March, the Indianapolis-based company acquired a stake in Klepierre, a major European retail and office player, from BNP Paribas for approximately $2 billion. A week earlier, Simon had signed a memorandum of understanding with Bailian Group, the largest retail conglomerate in China, to jointly develop a Premium Outlet Center in Pudong, Shanghai, China. The MOU also provides the joint venture the opportunity to develop more outlet centers in mainland China.