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Koury Corp. sells Greensboro's Four Seasons mall

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Koury Corp. sells Four Seasons mall to Chicago firm

General Growth Properties, a Chicago-based real estate investment trust, has purchased Four Seasons Town Centre in Greensboro from Koury Corp.

The REIT did not say exactly how much it paid for the Triad's second-largest shopping center, though the company said it took over around $112 million in debt to fund the Four Seasons acquisition. In conjunction with the Four Seasons deal, General Growth also issued $25.1 million of convertible preferred operating partnership units, which makes Koury Corp. a stakeholder in the REIT.

Four Seasons opened in 1974 and was most recently renovated in 2000. The three-level center is anchored by Dillard's, Belk's, and J.C. Penney with total retail square footage of 1.2 million square feet. Four Seasons is 91.1 percent occupied with sales of approximately $345 per square foot.

Four Seasons was the brainchild of the late Joseph Koury, Greensboro's most prolific private developer, who also built the hotel and convention center that are adjacent to the mall and bear his name. He also built the Grandover Resort and Conference Center. The Four Seasons Sheraton Hotel at the convention center is the largest in the state.

Koury, who died in 1998, was notoriously private in his business dealings and rarely sold properties once he bought and developed them. Since his death, the company has been run by a trio of his closest associates: Steve Showfety in commercial development, Mo Milani at the hotels and convention centers and Ron Mack at the mall. Koury Corp. ranks as one of Guilford County's largest landowners and taxpayers.

General Growth will manage, lease, market and handle operations at the mall.

Mack, Koury's executive vice president for retail operations, said Koury Corp. will continue to have its corporate offices at the mall, and all mall employees will be retained by the new owner.

Mack said the mall represented about 20 percent of Koury's portfolio, stressing the company will remain active in developing projects in the Triad. He said Koury has more than $30 million in other projects in various stages.

General Growth is the nation's second-largest shopping center owner. The company owns stakes in, or manages, 171 regional shopping malls in 41 states with 148 million in combined square footage.

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