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Sale of malls is complete

November 25, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

The sale of four regional malls, including Valley Mall, to a Pennsylvania real estate trust was completed last Thursday, Valley Mall Marketing Director Julie Rohm said Monday.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT) took over Valley Mall, Chambersburg Mall in Pennsylvania, Martinsburg Mall in West Virginia and Francis Scott Key Mall in Frederick, Md., as the Philadelphia-based trust merged with Crown American Realty Trust, according to a PREIT statement.

Mall customers won't see any immediate changes, other than a chance to win a celebratory shopping spree when mall employees hand out PREIT shopping bags containing entry forms on Saturday morning, Rohm said.

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Valley Mall shoppers will have a chance to win a $500 mall shopping spree, Rohm said. Each mall will set its own dollar amount, she said.

Rohm said PREIT has a great relationship with many outstanding national merchants, although she could not say specifically what that could mean for Valley Mall in terms of new stores.

A PREIT spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.

PREIT used $170 million of its new $500 million line of credit to pay off Crown's GECC line of credit and to pay certain closing costs for the merger, according to a PREIT statement.

PREIT assumed about $444 million of Crown's first mortgage loan secured by 15 properties and another $153 million in mortgages on properties, the release stated.

Through the merger, PREIT acquired 26 regional shopping malls and the remaining 50 percent interest in Palmer Park Mall in Easton, Pa., the release stated.

That gives PREIT ownership of 54 retail properties, consisting of 40 shopping malls, and 14 strip and power centers.

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