3P Managers Mean Business

This year’s top third-party managers have logged tremendous increases over last year. Take a look.

Editor’s Note: The 25th annual survey of Fastest-Growing Managers surveys new domestic and international third-party management and leasing contracts obtained during the 2013 calendar year and ranks the top performers. As always, the measuring stick is square footage.

For the second year in a row, it was impossible to limit our annual Fastest-Growing Third-Party Managers survey to a top five. Once again, the numbers were so close that the editors decided to add a sixth ranking. It is more proof that third-party retail property management continues to grow at a very healthy pace. Here’s a look at how the industry’s Fastest-Growing Managers performed during 2013.

One important note: This year’s No. 1-ranked manager, CBRE, acquired the fourth-ranked manager, Fameco Real Estate, at the end of September. Fameco specializes in retail real estate services in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region.

Fameco’s co-founders Brandon Famous and Jeffrey Cohen will both join CBRE, along with more than 100 Fameco professionals. They will do business under the trade name of CBRE | Fameco. While both companies are reporting their new assignments separately this year, their square-footage counts will be combined next year.

No.1

CBRE

CBRE’s shopping center portfolio has continued to grow. In 2013, the firm added 39,123,658 sq. ft. of new leasing and 3P management contracts, compared to 16.9 million sq. ft. in 2012. And that’s only from the CBRE offices that report in for the annual survey. Tally every new leasing assignment that the Los Angeles-based global firm amassed last year, and the number would be closer to 75 million sq. ft.

Notable contracts acquired by CBRE in 2013 include La Vaguada, an 83,613-sq.-ft. shopping center in Madrid, Spain. CBRE provides leasing, property management and construction management.

“La Vaguada is our first center in the Madrid region,” said Todd M. Caruso, senior managing director and CBRE’s Retail Owner/ Agency leader. “It is also the first time the owners — Unibail-Rodamco — have hired outside property managers, so it is a new relationship for CBRE.”

Another 2013 assignment that warrants mention is San Francisco’s world-famous, 101,258-sq.-ft. Ghirardelli Square. Owner Jamestown brought in CBRE to handle leasing and property management.

Also last year, CBRE acquired Fameco, a Mid-Atlantic retail real estate services provider and a perennial placer on this Fastest-Growing annual survey. The acquisition adds 250 shopping centers and retail properties totaling 20 million sq. ft. to the CBRE leasing portfolio, 20 million sq. ft. to its property management contracts and 75 retailers to the tenant representation roster.

No.2

JLL Retail

JLL Retail brought in 28,030,329 sq. ft. in new management and leasing contracts in 2013, compared to 14.4 million sq. ft. in 2012.

“It was a good year,” said Greg Maloney, president and CEO of JLL Retail, which is headquartered in the firm’s Atlanta offices. “We’re seeing more clients outsourcing specialty services, and we’ve expanded; we’re offering more services and more options for clients. So we’ve made new inroads, and I think 2014 will be even better.”

Those inroads include assignments in urban areas that JLL began pitching in 2012. “It’s definitely a growth space for us,” Maloney continued. “There is a flight to the city, and retailers are actively looking for urban locations.”

One notable urban location that JLL signed in 2013 is AVIA PARK, a 2.6 million sq.-ft. retail and entertainment destination in the northwestern area of Moscow. Under con struction now, JLL will be leasing space for 500 stores, including 1.2 million sq. ft. of anchor retailers and entertainment providers. Back home, JLL has earned a number of assignments from banks to help revive troubled properties.

Webster Bank, for example, assigned 20 properties in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts to JLL last year.

No.3

Mid-America Real Estate Group

In 2013, Mid-America Real Estate Group, based in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., added 14,439,881 sq. ft. of new third party property management and leasing contractors to its portfolio, an increase of about 40% over the 2012 total.

“It was a good year for Mid-America — above normal,” said Emily Dutson, Mid-America spokesperson. “Buyers and clients were actively pursuing new purchases of shopping centers.”

New management and leasing business came from across Mid-America’s marketing area. About 55% of the new contracts are spread throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. Another 30% are in Michigan, with 15% in Minnesota.

Notable new shopping centers on the Mid-America management roster include The Streets of Woodfield in Schaumburg, Ill. The 692,506-sq.-ft. lifestyle center features an open-air streetscape design anchored by Whole Foods Market and a Carson’s department store. Among other national names are AMC Loews, Dick’s Sporting Goods and GameWorks.

Another notable center is the mixed-use Promenade of Wayzata in the affluent Twin Cities suburb of Wayzata, Minn. Currently under construction, the development will offer 130,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 27,000 sq. ft. of office space, a 100-room boutique hotel and 500 residential units.

No.4

Fameco Real Estate

CBRE acquired Fameco Real Estate, LP in September 2013. The new entity now does business as CBRE | FAMECO. Next year, of course, CBRE and Fameco will report as one entity.

Before the acquisition, between January and September of 2013, Fameco acquired 12,001,074 sq. ft. of management and leasing contracts, placing the pre-acquired company in a solid fourth position in the annual rankings.

Just over 50% of that total came through Fameco’s regional relationship with Acme Markets. The grocer outsourced a portfolio of shopping centers with more than 7 million sq. ft. of space to Fameco. Larry Zipf, Managing Director, Asset Services, with CBRE | FAMECO said, “Our assignment is multi-faceted and involves third-party administrative oversight and coordination with tenants and the landlord.” The centers are located in Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Other significant projects include a 371,000 sq. ft. project in Philadelphia. Fameco was brought in by the special servicer to help stabilize and potentially reposition the property. Fameco was hired by a national institution on the recently acquired 117,560 sq.-ft. Baederwood Shopping Center in Jenkintown, Pa., after a redevelopment. Anchored by Whole Foods Market and Planet Fitness, the center now has a mix of national and credit chain tenants. Fameco was engaged by the developer of a mixed-use project called King of Prussia Town Center and is pre-leasing the preeminent 230,000 sq. ft. project.

No.5

Bayer Properties

Bayer Properties added 2,550,467 sq. ft. of new third-party property management assignments to its portfolio. That number exceeded the 2012 sq. ft. but fell short of its banner 2011.

“The economy and the rate of acquisitions, among other variables, have driven growth,” said Jeffrey Bayer, the company’s president and CEO. “We expect 2014 to be a strong year, which is why we’ve just added a VP of business development, Brad Bailey.”

While the recent improvement in the economy has helped, continued Bayer, the market has been shifting from new development to increasing existing asset productivity for seven years. Perceiving this industry-wide shift, Bayer altered its business model to meet an anticipated growing demand for third-party management services. The company has invested in people skilled in leasing and property management, while gaining efficiencies from a reorganization of its property management model.

Bayer’s response to industry changes has led to new assignments.

Take the Metropolitan in Charlotte, N.C., for example. It is a 412,204-sq.-ft. urban mixed-use asset with retail, restaurants, Class A office space and luxury residential condominiums. “This assignment expands our urban footprint, a trend we see continuing, given the movement of Millennials back to the urban core.”

No.6

The Woodmont Co.

Fort Worth, Texas-based The Woodmont Co. added 2,512,000 sq. ft. in property management and leasing assignments during 2013, a 20% increase over 2012. “It was a good year,” said Fred Meno, CPM, RPA, CSM, CRX, president and CEO, asset services with Woodmont. “We signed 11 properties with seven different clients.”

Notable contracts acquired during 2013 include property management and leasing for Marley Station Mall, a 1,086,000-sq.-ft. mall in Glen Burnie, Md., a Baltimore suburb.

Last year, Woodmont became the receiver while the owner and lender litigated a dispute over the loan. That dispute ended when a new owner acquired the mall. “When foreclosure ended, the new owner retained us to lease and manage,” said Meno. “At the moment, the occupancy rate is 70%, and we’re re-tenanting.”

Woodmont has developed an expertise in this property management and leasing specialty.

Another notable assignment from 2013 is Mansfield Towne Center in Mansfield, Texas, a 450,000-sq.-ft. open-air power center. Anchors include Best Buy, Marshalls, Lowe’s, Michaels and PETCO.

“We operate different kinds of centers including open-air centers, outlet centers and enclosed malls,” Meno said. “We have separate teams that specialize in each property type, because the tenants in each property are by and large different.”

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