When the descendants of real estate legend Henry S. Miller Jr. sold the historic Highland Park Village shopping center in 2009 to a family partnership that included Ray Washburne and his wife and her sister—the women are the daughters of Al Hill Jr., the grandson of oil billionaire H.L. Hunt—the partnership said “trust structures” were involved in the sale.
The partnership made the purchase for $171 million, or roughly $685 for each one of the shopping center’s 250,000 square feet. It was, word had it, the highest price ever paid for that much retail real estate in Dallas. But on Tuesday, the wisdom of the ’09 acquisition seemed to be affirmed when it was announced that the upscale shopping center at the southwest corner of Preston Road and Mockingbird Lane had been refinanced for much more money. The new loan was made by TH Real Estate, an investment affiliate of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, a giant, New York-based real estate investment manager.
According to Dallas County deed records, the long-term, fixed-rate loan for the borrower, HP Village Partners LP, totaled $225 million—or $54 million more than the ’09 purchase price. The new loan was arranged by Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, which declined to disclose the loans’s rate, term, or amount. HHF said the 9.7-acre shopping center has been leased to 75 tenants, including such top fashion names as Chanel, Christian Louboutin, and Cartier, as well as restaurants like Mi Cocina and Cafe Pacific.
Washburne, the president of HP Village Partners—he recently also became president and CEO of the feds’ Overseas Private Investment Corp.—said in a statement that the new loan would be used “to invest in our property for decades to come.” The shopping center has undergone a number of upgrades in recent years, in keeping with Washburne’s aims in a 2013 story in D CEO magazine: “We’re trying to make Highland Park Village an international brand name. We want to be the Rodeo Drive … in this market.”
The family partnership that acquired the center in 2009 included Washburne, his wife Heather Hill Washburne, her sister Elisa Summers, and Summers’ husband, Stephen Summers. The sisters’ father, Al Hill Jr., is the son of the late Margaret Hunt Hill, who was the daughter of Lyda Bunker Hunt and the legendary oil billionaire H.L. Hunt. At one time, Hunt was the richest person in the world.