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Nuveen, Taconic, North American Properties Buying Retail Center Outside NYC For $220M

Ridge Hill

Three real estate heavyweights have teamed up to acquire a 74-acre lifestyle center just north of New York City they plan to reposition.

Nuveen Real Estate, Taconic Partners and North American Properties paid $220M for Ridge Hill in Yonkers, a 1.2M SF lifestyle center at 1 Ridge Hill Blvd. in a deal that closed Thursday, Bisnow has learned.

Ridge Hill was developed by Forest City Realty Trust and opened in 2011. Australia’s Queensland Investment Corp. bought the complex back in 2017 from Forest City, which was acquired by Brookfield four years ago.

“I think everybody hears retail, they just hear retail and make it all one, but I think there's different retail executions that certainly make a lot of sense — and this lifestyle center, in this particular municipality, makes a ton of sense,” Nuveen Managing Director and Head of the New York Property Fund Nadir Settles told Bisnow

The affluence of the area, and its location in southern Westchester County, near Fairfield County, Manhattan and the Bronx, made it an appealing asset, Settles said.

"It is actually multi-use, there's certainly your traditional merchandisers and the retail outlet but there's apartments there ... [and] an opportunity to create a hotel there,” he said. “So then you create this sort of mixed-use asset, create density that is constantly thriving, and everything is complementing each other.”

Cincinnati-based North American Properties, which has developed 22M SF of commercial space and nearly 20,000 residential units in 15 states, according to its website, is starting the repositioning of the complex this month. 

NAP has developed successful, suburban mixed-use centers like Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia, and joined forces with Nuveen on several projects, most recently jointly acquiring The Forum, an open-air lifestyle center close to Avalon in Peachtree Corners, Georgia.

The tenant roster already at the complex includes Banana Republic, Sephora, H&M, The Container Store and Uniqlo. Legoland, LA Fitness as well as anchors like National Amusements Showcase Cinema de Lux and Whole Foods and nine full-service restaurants. Settles said there is little vacancy and an impressive tenant mix that just requires the buyers to “create a soul” for it.

No formal plans for the redevelopment have been released, but new owners said they plan to bring top-tier local food and beverage concepts, along with national luxury apparel and boutique fitness providers. They are also looking to improve the property’s public spaces, street design and parking offerings. The joint venture's plan is to reposition and stabilize the asset and then sell it.

“This was an opportunity that we really liked, and we thought it was under-maximized and underutilized and was prime for reposition," Settles said. 

Nuveen and Taconic have been collaborating since 2015, but Ridge Hill is the first acquisition the pair have made in retail, with previous investments in life sciences, office and industrial. In 2019, they partnered and paid Silverstein Properties $230M for a cluster of buildings on the Upper West Side that they are converting to life sciences uses. Last year, the two firms completed a $260M fundraise for their New York City Property Fund aimed at picking up $1B in assets.