Western Development Corp. and the Donohoe Cos. have sold their remaining 30 percent interest in the chic Georgetown Park shopping mall for $30 million to the American Telephone & Telegraph pension fund, which already owned a 70 percent interest in the project.
Under terms of the sale, Coldwell Banker Commercial Group, which manages the complex on M Street NW in the heart of Georgetown, will continue as the mall's managing partner for the AT&T pension fund and also soon will start development of the second phase of the center. In addition, Coldwell Banker plans to rehabilitate the adjoining Market House, turning it into a farmers' market with a restaurant and shops.
Richard Kramer, vice chairman of Western's board, said the company had decided to sell its 24 percent interest in the mall because "Western has an objective of only being involved in projects in which we have a majority share. As active developers, to be passive partners for another owner, is not ideal."
The Georgetown-based Western has become one of the city's best known, and one of its more controversial, developers. The firm, in addition to developing the first phase of Georgetown Park mall, is completing work on the massive Washington Harbour condominium, office and retail complex along the Potomac River in Georgetown, a project that Georgetown citizen activists fought for years. In addition, Western recently opened the first portion of the Potomac Mills off-price outlet mall in Prince William County.
Western also has won the right to develop the Market Square site between Seventh and Ninth streets NW on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as the Portal site at the foot of the 14th Street bridge.
Kramer said the firm did not sell its Georgetown Park interest to raise cash for the other ventures. "It was just a great opportunity to end a passive limited partnership at an excellent price."
He declined to specify the selling price, but another source familiar with the deal said it was $30 million.
"Western is in absolutely excellent financial condition," Kramer said. He said the firm currently has $600 million worth of construction projects under way, building 5.8 million square feet of space in shopping centers and various mixed-use projects in 25 states and the District.