Galleria: New owner may add new uses, events

The deal was announced this week.

WHITE PLAINS – The Galleria shopping mall has a new owner.

Pacific Retail Capital Partners announced this week that it has added the 870,000-square-foot mall at 100 Main St. —  along with two other shopping centers elsewhere — to its portfolio, in a joint venture with an investment partner.

The total cost of the acquisitions is valued “in excess of $200 million,” although the price of each property was not disclosed.

The Galleria, once considered to be at the top end of the malls in the area, has been in need of a facelift. Mayor Thomas Roach said he was hoping the new owner would revitalize the facility.

“We’ve seen major reinvestment in both the City Center and The Westchester malls and we’re optimistic that we’ll see a reinvestment and improvement in the Galleria as well,” he said.

Steve Plenge, managing principal of Pacific Retail Capital Partners, said in a statement that the company is ready to invest.

“Pacific Retail’s experienced team will be deployed to evaluate each asset in the context of the neighborhood and what is valued by the customers to create a program to further enhance its appeal,” he said. “This may include bringing new uses to the center, improving the physical space, adding events and public programs and in some cases redeveloping portions of the real estate.”

Mall-goers were pleased to hear about the new ownership.

“This is a good news for the city of White Plains,” said Rafael Nievecela, 68, of White Plains. “They are going to fix everything.”

Rene Sperling, 81, of Eastchester, agreed.

“I do like the location. I like Macy’s,” she said, one of the mall’s anchor stores along with Sears. “But it needs a better selection, or an additional selection of stores especially for women.”

Ebo Yumus, who runs phone repair booths in the mall, said he was also hoping the new ownership would lure new tenants.

“Some stores were closed down. People are not coming here,” Yumus said. “We need good stores that everybody knows.”

Simon Property Group, which owns The Westchester in White Plains and The Shops at Nanuet among its 230 properties, acquired the Galleria when it merged with The Mills Limited Partnership in 2007.

Les Morris, spokesman for Simon Property Group, said it’s the company’s long-standing policy not to comment on its property sales or acquisitions.

A potential sale of The Galleria has been talked about for months, with Simon saying in past financial documents it was continuing to sell properties that “no longer meet our strategic criteria or that are not a primary retail venue within their trade area.”

The center features 130 retailers including Macy’s, Sears, H&M, Forever 21 and a food court.

Original Story HERE