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Mass. company acquires controlling interest in Highland Village

October 24th, 2012 No comments

WS Development announced Wednesday morning that it had acquired a controlling interest in Highland Village shopping center in Jackson.

The company, based in Chestnut Hill, Mass., is making its first entry into Mississippi.

Guy Boyll III, who was Highland Village’s VP of operations under old ownership but will serve as asset manager under the new arrangement, said in a press release that he and other existing partners will work with WS in the management of the 220,000 square-foot, mixed-use shopping center.

The newest retailer – Whole Foods Market – is scheduled to break ground next month on a 30,000 square-foot grocery store that will open next fall.

WS partner Dick Marks said his company’s acquisition of the shopping center does nothing to change that. “We are thrilled to become a part of this extraordinary center and to bring Whole Foods Market to Mississippi.”

Highland Village opened in 1972 and offers nearly 50 retailers, from clothing boutiques to outdoors outfitters to jewelers and fine dining restaurants. It was built by late Jackson businessman and philanthropist Jimmy Fowler. Three generations of his family have owned it since.

Boyll said in a phone interview Wednesday morning that the deal had been in the works for a year and a half. He emphasized that it would do nothing to change Whole Foods’ plans.

Terms were not disclosed, but WS said that it only pursues retail-related real estate investments that exceed $10 million.

“WS Development shares the family’s belief that the best shopping centers not only serve their communities, but also become part of them,” Marks says.