Mallrats nationwide can get their fix thanks to Macerich. The self-administered real estate investment trust (REIT) acquires, develops, and manages shopping and strip malls. Its portfolio consists of about 65 regional shopping centers and 15 community shopping centers totaling more than 65 million sq. ft. of leasable space. The properties are located in more than 20 states; Arizona, California, and the New York metropolitan area are the company's primary markets. Macerich's top tenants include The Gap, Limited Brands, Forever 21, and Foot Locker, though Macy's, Sears, and JC Penney hold the top anchor spots.
Macerich often develops new properties, redevelops existing ones, and is making moves to diversify beyond traditional shopping malls and strip centers. In 2011 the company acquired its first outlet mall in New York and broke ground on another in the Chicago suburbs near O'Hare International Airport. Macerich also has a mixed-use project with more than 2 million sq. ft. of space -- its largest to date -- under development in Northern Virginia.
The company has not abandoned its traditional market, however. During 2011 Macerich acquired full ownership of six regional mall properties it had owned through 50/50 joint ventures and acquired partial or full interests in four malls in Arizona and New York. The additions to Macerich's portfolio helped the company report higher net income for the year. As the national economy exhibited signs of rebound, the company experienced higher rental income as new leases outpaced expiring ones.
The commercial and retail real estate industry was hit hard by the global economic crisis that began in 2008, as property tenants increasingly renegotiated rents, defaulted on payments, consolidated operations, or simply went out of business. In order to weather the storm, Macerich implemented an aggressive deleveraging strategy. The company primarily raised capital by forming new joint ventures, refinancing properties, and selling some of its non-core assets. In 2009 it sold five community centers for some $83 million in order to help pay off debt. Despite the turmoil, the company remained profitable throughout the recession.
In another sign of the times, Macerich owned a portfolio of 45 freestanding Mervyn's stores, which closed after the company declared bankruptcy in 2008. Macerich sold most of the properties and is seeking new tenants to fill the remaining spaces.
Founded in 1964, Macerich got its name by combining the first names of its founders, Mace Siegel and Richard Cohen.