By Anjali Fluker
Orlando Business Journal
December 14, 2012
Exactly what is Moonbeam Equities LLC?
Well, other than being the parent of the entity that bought most of the 1.1 million-square-foot West Oaks Mall on Nov. 21 for $15.9 million, it owns 5 million square feet of other real estate nationwide.
The private equity firm has been able to turn around a struggling mall in Houston — taking it from 30 percent occupancy in August 2011 to 85 percent occupancy seven months later.
And now, manager Steven Maksin is ready to do the same for West Oaks Mall.
“I’ve been able to buy a number of assets at relatively good prices,” Maksin said. “The economy is turning around so it’s becoming easier to rent mall space out. Plus, having a number of malls around the country, I’m a little more flexible than other mall owners so I can make deals right away.”
Though an attorney by trade, Maksin has been in the real estate business as a landlord for a number of years. And he got one heck of a deal with West Oaks Mall, a property that carried a loan balance of more than $60 million.
That means he’s ready to work with tenants looking for a good deal since his firm is “flush with incentives.” Though portions of the mall could be redeveloped or repurposed, most of his efforts will focus on signing new tenants and renewing leases.
“We’re talking to a number of national retailers to come back to West Oaks,” Maksin said. “New malls are not being built at this point. The only choice for a retailer who wants to expand is to come back through landlords like me. That’s why I think there’s a lot of value in these malls if you’re a long-term player.”
That’s great news to real estate agents like Christopher Savino, managing partner of Orlando-based Equity Investment Services. Savino has several real estate deals on neighboring properties that hinge on what happens with the mall. “If they can revitalize that mall, it would do wonders for State Road 50, especially heading west.”
Fluker, A. (2012, Dec 14). Meet the new man behind West Oaks Mall, Orlando Business Journal (April 22, 2012). http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/print-edition/2012/12/14/meet-the-new-man-behind-west-oaks-mall.html