Arthur Coppola

Macerich Co.

Age: 45

Specialty: Acquiring Shopping Centers

Recent Deal: Purchasing the biggest shopping center in Salt Lake City, South Towne Center.

Arthur Coppola has been on a shopping spree lately. But he doesn't walk away with just a suit or sports coat. He buys entire malls.

As president and chief executive of Macerich, Coppola has doubled the size of the company's portfolio in the past six months including seven shopping centers with 6.7 million square feet of gross leaseable area for a total purchase price of $427 million. "It's just coincidence that we had so many closings at the same time," Coppola said.

Locally, Macerich acquired the 800,000-square-foot Buenaventura Mall in Ventura. Plans call for adding two more anchor tenants Sears and Robinsons-May to the two anchors already in place, JC Penney and Macy's. Another recent purchase is the 800,000-square-foot Huntington Center in Huntington Beach, where Macerich plans to add a 22-screen cineplex and several upscale restaurants.

Macerich gained national notoriety recently when Wal-Mart announced it will open its first two-level store in the United States at Macerich's Panorama Mall in Panorama City.

"It's been a very exciting time for us there are just a tremendous amount of opportunities available at this time," Coppola said.

In recent years, Macerich had focused primarily on renovating its pre-existing centers. Its portfolio includes 24 regional malls and three community shopping centers in 11 states with a total of more than 20 million square feet of gross leaseable area.

But Coppola, who also happens to be a lawyer and a certified public accountant, stresses that Macerich is not necessarily interested in being the biggest, just the best.

On the home front, Coppola recently remarried and is looking forward to starting another family. He still manages to find time to keep up his favorite interests traveling, skiing and golf.

Julie Sable

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