General Growth Properties Inc. announced Monday, Aug. 1, the transfer of 30 of its mall properties across the country into a new real estate investment trust named Rouse Properties Inc. after Columbia's founder, James Rouse.
The trust and its portfolio — the Rouse Portfolio — will be made available to GGP stockholders by the end of the year in the form of a taxable special dividend.
According to a news release from the company, GGP believes the spin-off will enhance shareholder value by "enabling each entity to more effectively pursue a business strategy that is appropriate for its specific needs."
Chicago-based General Growth Properties, which bought the Rouse Co. in 2004, emerged from bankruptcy last fall and split into two separate companies. Howard Hughes Corp. was formed to take over the company's development efforts. General Growth still manages hundreds of retail properties across the country, including the Columbia mall.
While the portfolio and trust are named for James Rouse, the designer of both Columbia and Harborplace in Baltimore, no Maryland GGP malls, including the Columbia mall, are a part of the Rouse Portfolio or Rouse Properties Inc.
The malls in the new portfolio are malls that generally have different operating, capital and geographic focus from GGP's core mall portfolio, according to GGP.