Details of the investment in the upscale mall by Hines Global REIT were scant.
Updated: August 6, 2012 - 9:38 PM
The owner of the upscale Galleria shopping center in Edina has brought on Houston-based Hines Global REIT as a new investor.
The amount of the investment and other terms of the deal were not disclosed, so it's unclear how much of an ownership stake Hines has taken.
The mall is owned and managed by Gabbert & Beck, which also owns the adjacent Westin hotel and condominiums. That property was not part of the deal, according to Galleria spokeswoman Susan Evans.
Mall officials said Warren Beck, president and principal of Gabbert & Beck, was not available for comment.
In a statement, Beck said Hines Global REIT has an "excellent reputation" and understands the Galleria and "the philosophy behind its four decades of success."
Richard Grones, founder of Cambridge Commercial Realty in Edina, said it's a good time for Beck to sell.
"The center's full and it's thriving. Everybody's remodeling or renewing their leases," Grones said. "If he's looking to retire, maybe, and pull some money out of there, he might as well get while the gettin's good."
The Galleria site includes several parcels. The retail area is valued at more than $62 million, according to Hennepin County property tax records.
With its bevy of popular restaurants and one-of-a-kind stores, the 417,000-square-foot mall has weathered the recession better than most. It is 97 percent leased, Evans said.
Although longtime anchor and original tenant Schmitt Music moved to Richfield this year, a host of new stores were added to the tenant list recently, including home design furniture store Arhaus and European shoe retailer Marmi.
Even as other luxe retailers have pulled out of the Twin Cities -- including Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and, more recently, Neiman Marcus' decision to exit downtown Minneapolis next year -- the Galleria has continued to attract and keep such affluent brands as Tiffany & Co., Eileen Fisher and Louis Vuitton. Crate & Barrel defected from nearby Southdale to open a two-story showroom in 2008.
Beck has been a driving force in creating the mall's top reputation as a specialty shopping destination.
"He controlled every blade of grass and every approval of a tenant," Grones said. "He had high standards and had to have the right tenant for the mix. Galleria's all alone in the Minneapolis marketplace as far as chic upscale."
Beck is the son-in-law of family patriarch Don Gabbert, who opened a furniture store on the land in 1959. Beck connected the store with local shops in 1974 and has continued to expand through the decades.
With details of the deal under wraps, it's unknown how much control Beck will give up. A Hines official said in a statement that it did not plan to change tenant mix or management staffing.
"The stewardship of this shopping center in the last 40 years has been amazing, and we are thrilled to be involved with Warren Beck, the property team and the future of this beloved shopping center," said Hines director Sargent Johnson, a Minneapolis native.
Hines REIT owns several commercial properties in the Twin Cities area, including a three-building office complex in Hopkins leased by Cargill and a prominent downtown Minneapolis highrise office building at 50 S. 6th St.
Another Hines business has invested in the North Loop of Minneapolis.
In 2006, Beck and two partners sold Centennial Lakes Plaza, a shopping center on France Avenue with restaurants and retail, for $49 million.
Jackie Crosby 612-673-7335
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