Big Shopping Centers, which is traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and controlled by brothers Yehuda and Rony Naftali, is continuing its expansion drive in the United States, most recently reporting that its Big Shopping Centers USA subsidiary has signed contracts for the purchase of three strip shopping malls in Phoenix, Arizona for about $62 million.
Big USA, in which the Israeli insurance firm Migdal also has an interest, will own 80% of the properties, with the remaining 20%-stake being held by Red Development, which recently set up a partnership for the acquisition of shopping centers in the United States. The three Phoenix-area centers, in suburban Chandler, are Chandler Gateway, Chandler Festival and Chandler Village. The three centers have a combined 70,000 square meters (about 75,000 square feet) of leasable space and an average occupancy rate of 96%, and include anchor tenants such as Wal-Mart, Nordstrom and Ross Stores.
Big Shopping Centers, which is trading on the Tel Aviv exchange at a market valuation of about 2.3 billion shekels ($600 million), said it is currently in negotiations for the purchase of another five shopping centers in the United States.