NEW YORK — Furthering its portfolio buildup, Mills Corp. announced Wednesday that it had purchased the Great Mall of the Bay Area in Milpitas, Calif., for $265.5 million, from Swerdlow Real Estate Group.

In the past year, Mills, a real estate investment trust based in Arlington, Va., bought the Del Amo Fashion Center in California and five properties from Cadillac Fairview of Toronto, including The Galleria in White Plains, N.Y. Del Amo is the fourth largest mall in the country with 2.5 million square feet.

According to Mills, The Great Mall has 1.3 million square feet and is the largest value-oriented retail and entertainment property in northern California. The center has 11 anchors, including Off 5th-Saks Fifth Avenue, Old Navy, Burlington Coat Factory, a 20-screen Century Theatres and 200 specialty stores. After renovations, the property will be rebranded as a “Mills” destination. Tenants average $319 in sales per square foot.

The acquisition was funded through a five-year, $175 million mortgage with fixed interest at 4.8 percent and through a recently announced $500 million credit facility. Mills has two other California properties, Ontario Mills and The Block at Orange. Since November 2002, the company has grown through development and acquisition from 13 to 25 operating properties and its gross leasable area has grown from 19 million to 32 million square feet.

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