Penn REIT Nails $173M in New Financing

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust has closed three new deals, securing a total of $173 million in new financing. Part of the proceeds have been used to repay the $93 million mortgage on Exton Square Mall in Pennsylvania, and another portion will go toward paying off outstanding debts under the company’s credit facility.   The three loans are secured by three separate properties, all of which are malls: Exton Square and Viewmont Malls, both in Pennsylvania, and Francis Scott Key in Maryland. The Exton Square Mall, in Exton Pa., is secured for $70 million. The non-recourse 5-year mortgage loan that has been arranged comes with a fixed interest rate of 7.5 percent. Exton Square Mall is a 1.1 million square foot mall with anchor companies Boscov’s, JCPenney, Macy’s and Sears. At the end of September, occupancy of the non-anchor retail stores was up to 83.6 percent and one-year sales of these stores came to an average of $359 per square foot. The loan secured by Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, Md., is also for five years and a non-recourse deal. That loan, for $55 million, however is an interest-only loan, provided by a commercial bank, and comes with a variable interest rate of LIBOR plus 2.35 percent that was swapped to a fixed rate of 5.245 percent. The security for this loan, Francis Scott Key Mall, was acquired in 2003. The 711,000-square-foot mall is anchored by JCPenney, Macy’s and Sears. As of Sept. 30, the non-anchor occupancy rate was at 92.3 percent, and the average one-year sales were $355 per square foot. The third deal is for a $48 million non-recourse mortgage loan secured by Viewmont Mall in Scranton, Pa. The loan, like the one for the Francis Scot Key Mall, is also a five-year, interest only loan, provided by a commercial bank, carries a variable interest rate of LIBOR plus 2.35 percent that was swapped to a fixed rate of 5.245 percent. Viewmont Mall, is a 750,000 square foot enclosed mall anchored by JCPenney, Macy’s and Sears. As of Sept. 30, 2008, non-anchor occupancy was 92.5 percent and 12-month same-store sales were $375 per square foot. Currently the Pennsylvania REIT portfolio encompasses 34 million square feet, including 38 shopping malls, 14 strip and power centers, as well as four properties under development. The properties are located in 13 states in primarily in the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States.