A “heavy hitter” hitter in the business of buying selling and developing high-end shopping malls and arcades in Hawaii has purchasing a lucrative property in the heart of the tourist belt.

Bill Mills head of the Bill Mills Group and president of Tumon Sands Delaware LLC purchased the Tumon Sands Plaza on Feb. 1. The deal involves players from all corners of the world.

The Mills Group a diversified real estate firm headquartered in Honolulu acquired American Sotetsu Corp. the owner of the Tumon Sands Plaza from Sagami Railway Company of Japan.

According to records filed at the Department of Land Management the property secures a loan to Tumon Sands Delaware LLC made by Greenwich Capital Financial Products Inc. of $20 million.

Greenwich Capital is wholly owned by Greenwich Capital Holdings Inc. whose parent company is The Royal Bank of Scotland.

William J. Blair partner in the law firm of Klemm Blair Sterling & Johnson PC represented the Mills Group locally in the purchase. He said the sale closed Feb. 1 and was officially recorded with the Department of Land Management. Blair “It’s a very positive sign when Hawaii investors are looking at Guam.”

W. Nicolas Captain president of the Captain Co. and Captain Realty worked with Greenwich Capital in the area of property valuation. He had also done work for American Sotetsu in the past. He said “Anytime we see investment coming from Hawaii it’s a sign that investors with large pockets are interested in putting money into this economy.”

The Tumon Sands Plaza joins the Mills Group retail portfolio which includes The Shops at Wailea; the DFS Galleria; and the Shops at 2150 Kalakaua.

Ned Dewey Mills group partner and new president of American Sotetsu told the Journal “We are looking forward to working with our impressive tenant roster and Mr. Masato Yahata general manager of American Sotetsu to improve mall operations and reinvigorate its merchandising.”

In December 2003 Mills bought out investors of the Waikiki Galleria Tower a mixed office-retail building home to the DFS Galleria in a deal worth $125 million.

The Mills Group uses CB Richard Ellis an international real estate investment firm headquartered in Los Angeles. F. Kevin Aucello vice president for investment properties for CB Richard Ellis office in Honolulu said “We are definitely seeing an uptake in interest and new money coming into your market is a good thing.”

The CB Richard Ellis name is familiar on Guam Aucello said because the company is responsible for facilities management for Bank of Hawaii locations. “Most of the revenue for our company is made through our brokerage services like leasing sales or advisory work.”

Yahata has been with Tumon Sands Plaza and American Sotetsu for the past 30 years. He said “It is sad to see these things change hands but I am glad a company with the reputation of Bill Mills is now the driving force here. That means there is only one way — to the top again.”

Tumon Sands Plaza was built in 1973. Several additions followed with the most recent completed in 1996. The building boasted a third floor hotel which was converted to office storage and owner-occupant spaces when the demand for hotel rooms declined in 1999.

Investment s to upgrade and maintain retail space have been made at Tumon Sands over the past year. Several tenants have renovated or completed new interior guild outs.

The Cartier renovation was completed in 2004 at a cost of $2 million. The Gucci renovation was completed in September 2004 at a cost of $1.89 million. The central courtyard was renovated at a cost of $850 000. Burberry Bally and other spaces were also renovated at various times in 2004.

Louis Vuitton which owns its property in November commenced a $10 million renovation project. The LV group signed a temporary lease agreement for a second floor space and has completed $500 000 in renovation work. MBJ