I don’t know about you, but I love South Coast Plaza, which is in Orange County, California.
Although I’m not a big shopper, there’s something about the place that just makes me happy. Maybe it’s the mall’s outdoor canopies, which are made of soft artificial lights that glow in the twilight like dew-laden spider webs. Maybe it’s the architecture—the way the clean lines remind me of expansive, open fields. Maybe it’s the smell of chocolate muffins baking in the cafes, or the hint of coffee brewing, or the aroma of waffle cones wafting from the ice cream shop.
I don’t know what it is, actually. All I know is that I love the place. It’s one of the reasons why I enjoy working in the South Coast Metro area so much.
South Coast Plaza has been in the news a lot lately because the mall’s founder, Henry Segerstrom, died in February at the age of 91. His death left many people wondering how much South Coast Plaza could sell for if his family ever wanted to shop it around, as it has long been touted as one of the most lucrative malls per square foot in the U.S. and even the world.
It turns out that a recent real estate deal involving the luxury mall Ala Moana in Honolulu may give us a good idea of South Coast’s dollar value. A 25% stake of the Hawaiian mall—which is considered comparable to South Coast Plaza as a premier, world-class shopping destination—was recently sold to Australian investment fund AustralianSuper for an investment that pegs Ala Moana’s price tag at $5.5 billion, according to the Orange County Register.
That $5.5 billion price tag for South Coast Plaza sounds about right to me, and it’s definitely a dollar amount that I would expect would go up as the years progress if the Segerstrom family decides to hold on to the property.
As always, if you would like to discuss this or any other real estate issues or questions you may have, feel free to give me a call at (714) 348-4000.