Retail Properties of America Sells Aon Hewitt Property in Ill. for $148M

Retail Properties of America has sold the Aon Hewitt property, an 818,686-square-foot office property in Lincolnshire, Ill., for $148 million to an unidentified buyer.

Retail Properties of America, Inc. has sold the Aon Hewitt property, an 818,686-square-foot office property in Lincolnshire, Ill., for $148 million to an unidentified buyer.

The REIT used the proceeds to pay off $117.7 million of mortgage debt and accrued interest on the entire Aon Hewitt campus. RPAI still owns 343,000 square feet on the Aon Hewitt East Campus, which is fully leased to Aon Hewitt, a global provider of insurance, human resources solutions and outsourcing services.

The sale brings RPAI closer to its year-end goal of disposing of $450 million to $550 million in assets. So far this year, the Oak Brook, Ill.,-based REIT has sold $414.4 million of non-core and non-strategic assets, including earnouts, pad sales and a deed-in-lieu transaction. The Aon Hewitt property was among the $185.5 million and 1.2 million square feet in dispositions completed since Oct. 1. Those sales also included four single-tenant properties.

The REIT said all its 2012 debt maturities have been addressed.

“The culmination of the Aon Corporation lease extension and the subsequent sale of this property, over the past four months, highlights our active approach to asset management and our continued ability to achieve our stated strategic initiatives that we set out earlier in the year,” said Shane Garrison, RPAI CEO and chief investment officer. “We are pleased with the team’s progress toward meeting our target of $450 million to $550 million of asset sales by the end of 2012.”

Assets sold during the third quarter included 13 former Mervyns’ locations in California. The portfolio, which at the time of sale was 99 percent leased and featured four Hobby Lobby, four Kohl’s and five Burlington Coat Factory properties, was sold for $100.4 million. Proceeds of the sale of the 13 assets paid off the entire outstanding loan on the 23-asset Mervyns portfolio. When the sale was announced in August, Garrison said he expected the remaining 10 Mervyns’ properties to be sold by the end of December.

Another large asset RPAI sold in recent months was the Cost Plus distribution center in Stockton, Calif. The 1.04 million-square-foot distribution site was purchased by American Realty Capital Trust III for $63 million. The tenant in the two buildings at the time of the August sale was Bed, Bath & Beyond, Inc., which had bought Cost Plus World Market, a smaller home goods retailer, in May for about $495 million.

The asset disposition is part of RPAI’s 2012 strategic plan, which included changing the REIT’s name from Inland Western to Retail Properties of America, Inc., in March to better reflect its core business as an owner and operator of shopping centers across the United States. The portfolio now consists of more than 40 million square feet across approximately 275 properties in 35 states.