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Analyst Blog

On Feb 14, Real estate investment trust (REIT) Vornado Realty Trust (VNO - Analyst Report) declared that it has inked a deal to sell Broadway Mall for $94 million. The sale of the mall located on Route 106 in Hicksville, Long Island, New York is anticipated to close in first-quarter 2014.

Through this deal, Vornado will reap around $92 million in net proceeds (after closing costs). Notably, non-cash impairment loss of $13.4 million related to the Broadway Mall will be reflected in the company’s fourth-quarter 2013 financial results.

The Broadway Mall, previously known as Mid-Island Plaza, commenced operations in Oct 1956 and was acquired by Vornado in 2005. Currently, the mall has an anchor tenant base that includes Macy’s, Target, Forever 21, and Long Island’s only IKEA store.

The latest move reflects Vornado’s strategy to streamline its mall business. Broadway is the last shopping complex owned by Vornado in Long Island. In Jan 2013, the company disposed another shopping mall  – Green Acres Mall – to Santa Monica, California-based The Macerich Company (MAC - Analyst Report) for $500 million.

We expect these concerted efforts to enhance Vornado’s financial flexibility and pave the way for more profitable investment opportunities. Also, these would strengthen its Class A office properties portfolio that is concentrated in select high-rent, high barrier-to-entry geographic markets, and usually fare better amid challenging economic conditions.

Vornado currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked REITs include Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. (SBRA - Snapshot Report) and Chatham Lodging Trust (CLDT - Snapshot Report). Sabra Health Care holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while Chatham Lodging carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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