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Andrea Olshan tapped to right Seritage ship

Seritage Growth Properties announced that Andrea Olshan has been appointed chief executive officer and president of the company.

Olshan will join the company’s Board of Trustees. She will step down as CEO of her family’s Olshan Properties and move to the role of chairman of the board.

“I am grateful to the Board for this incredible role that leverages my extensive experience repositioning a diverse collection of retail and mixed-use real estate assets across the country,” said Olshan, who has led the strategic direction of her firm since taking the reins in 2012.

Founded in 1959 by Mort Olshan, the family-run real estate enterprise owns and operates a portfolio that encompasses 23 million square feet of retail properties, multifamily units, hotel rooms office buildings.

Edward S. Lampert, chairman of the Seritage board, called her and “exceptional” choice to lead the REIT as it looks to expand its development activities across asset classes.

“We will benefit tremendously from Andrea’s vast expertise developing retail, office, hospitality and mixed-use projects for Olshan Properties,” added Lampert. “We could not be more enthusiastic to begin the next chapter of Seritage’s evolution with Andrea as our CEO.”

Olshan, who previously served on the Board of Morgans Hotel Group from 2013 to 2016,  graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and received her MBA from Columbia Business School.

She said, “I am grateful to the Board for this incredible role that leverages my extensive experience repositioning a diverse collection of retail and mixed-use real estate assets across the country. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to lead and work alongside a team of talented and passionate professionals and to build on the Seritage platform.”

ANDREA OLSHAN

Olshan added, “Seritage was established to reimagine a high quality, national portfolio, and to develop places that are deeply relevant to, integral with, and truly embraced by their surrounding communities. I am eager to utilize not only my own expertise and that of the team, but also the broad relationships with tenants, developers and capital partners I have built in the industry to help create value for our shareholders.”

Earlier today, Olshan Properties, announced that Zachary Bornstein, who has served as senior managing director of Capital Markets, has been named president. Michael Odell, who has also served as a senior managing director, will become executive managing director, Head of Investments and Capital Markets.

Seritage was created by Sears Holdings as a way for the troubled retailer to monetize its property holdings. The REIT’s goal was to redevelop the portfolio and find replacements for struggling Sears and Kmart stores.

The onset of the COVID pandemic has somewhat handicapped their efforts, however, and in December both the CEO and CFO stepped down.

With the majority of Seritage’s portfolio currently vacant, Olshan faces the task of creating value in an over-supplied market and  reasserting the REIT’s ambitious redevelopment projects.

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