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Caruso Eludes Slump, Considers Mayoral Run

Mall developer Rick Caruso plans to take his success in retail to distressed shopping centers, apartments, luxury hotels, airports and maybe a run for Los Angeles mayor.

The Grove, Caruso’s town square-like shopping center in Los Angeles that attracts 17 million shoppers a year, had few vacancies through the recession, he said. Sales at the Americana at Brand, his first retail-residential complex, have grown since its 2008 opening. Caruso plans to use profits to buy distressed properties he can rehabilitate.

Caruso’s Los Angeles-based company, closely held Caruso Affiliated, last month announced a $750 million debt-and-equity venture with TPG Capital, David Bonderman’s buyout firm, to make retail and mixed-used purchases.

A Republican who has served as board president at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Los Angeles Police Commission, Caruso has flirted for years with a mayoral run. “I’m leaning towards it” when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is termed out in 2013, Caruso said. “I have to make a decision probably sometime next year.”

&#8226 Read the full Bloomberg BusinessWeek story.

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