NEW YORK — The sprawling AOL Time Warner Center, which is still under construction, is experiencing a shift in ownership.

Real estate developers The Related Cos. and partner Apollo Real Estate Advisors have agreed to sell 49.5 percent of the retail portion of the complex to the San Francisco-based firm MacFarlane Partners and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System. The deal is thought to be worth up to $500 million.

"We brought in long-term institutional capital in order to return some of our equity and maintain the retail, office and garage component of the AOL Time Warner Center for the long term," said Marty Burger, executive vice president at Related Cos.

The 347,000-square-foot, seven-story retail complex called The Shops at Columbus Circle will house such retailers as Hugo Boss, Armani Exchange, Cole Haan and Tourneau. The AOL and Mandarin Oriental Hotel complexes aren’t affected, said Burger.

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