America’s Top Redevelopers

11th annual CSA survey highlights retail redevelopers for 2014-2015

In its 11th year, the Top Redevelopers survey remains relevant as more shopping center companies redevelop than build anew – although the redevelop vs. develop scales are more in balance now than they were five years ago.  

This 2015 survey analyzed redevelopment work from mid-year to mid-year — in this case, the 12-month period from June 2014 through June 2015 — to ensure the most current results possible. Survey participants submitted total square footage redeveloped during that period, the number of projects undertaken and, when available, the financial investment for each project. As always, the Chain Store Age judging committee attempted to make the selection process as objective as possible – pretty much impossible as companies report very differently.  

This year, we chose 10 developers based on the number of properties redeveloped, total sq. ft. affected and significant projects. We have summarized the results alphabetically as it is impossible to rank one above the other.

Brixmor Property Group
New York City

Brixmor Property Group edged out last year’s redevelopment numbers, recording nearly 6.4 million sq. ft. of revamped space in the survey timeframe, about a half-million more sq. ft. than last year and spanning 24 projects in 13 states. The company cites its Harpers Station project, completed in March 2015, as its most significant.

For the neighborhood shopping center, which is located in one of the fastest-growing, highest-income areas of greater Cincinnati, Brixmor leveraged the move-out of a former furniture store to add a 29,000-sq.-ft. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and revitalize the center overall. Several adjacent small-shop vacancies were combined to accommodate a Pet Supplies Plus; in all, the project cost was about $3.1 million.

Cafaro Co.
Youngstown, Ohio

Each year, Cafaro is consistent with its redevelopment numbers; last year, the company redeveloped 969,000 sq. ft. and this year’s total is 807,000 sq. ft. – devoted entirely to one project. For its renovation of the 25-year-old Governor’s Square Mall, located in Clarksville, Tennessee, Cafaro invested $5 million over a seven-month period to overhaul the property with new interior flooring, ceilings, restrooms, lighting, HVAC, public seating, exterior entrances, roofing, parking area resurfacing, landscaping and more.

CBL & Associates Properties  
Chattanooga, Tennessee

List stalwart CBL & Associates may not have redeveloped as much square footage for this year’s survey as last year, but the projects were as significant.  Last year, CBL redeveloped 5.5 million sq. ft., compared to this year’s 445,460 sq. ft.  Of the four projects across three states, CBL counts the redevelopment of the Fayette Mall Sears building (in Lexington, Kentucky) as its most significant. The $68-million redo brought high-end retail and restaurant options to the center. The new wing opened in fall 2014 with several tenants, including L'Occitane, Brighton, Michael Kors, Vera Bradley, Swarovski, Eddie Bauer, Travinia Italian Kitchen, and The Cheesecake Factory, many of which were new to the Lexington market.

Kimco Realty Corp.
New Hyde Park, New York

Kimco returned to the Top Redevelopers list with nearly 1.3 million sq. ft. of revamped properties in the survey timeframe, spanning 14 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. The company highlights Pompano Pointe Shopping Center, in Pompano Beach, Florida, as a notable redevelopment site, as it was transformed into a grocery-anchored center with the addition of a 45,000-sq.-ft. Whole Foods that supplanted a former Kmart building. As part of the $10.3 million investment, a 35,000-sq.-ft. Sports Authority was added and a vacant outparcel was demolished and replaced with a newly built PDQ restaurant.

National Realty & Development Corp.  
Purchase, New York

NRDC topped last year’s redevelopment numbers to return to the Top Redevelopers list.  The company tackled 325,253 sq. ft., encompassing five projects in New Jersey.  The most significant was NRDC’s revampment of Old Colony Square Center, in Jersey City. NRDC capitalized on the area’s revitalized neighborhoods, ease of transportation and proximity to New York City by upgrading the center’s entire façade and outdoor landscaping – in keeping with Jersey City’s overall transformation in real estate development.

Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust

PREIT delivered a big redevelopment year in 2014/2015, revamping 1.5 million sq. ft. across 14 projects in total. The most significant was Springfield (Virginia) Town Center, which underwent a major redevelopment and held a grand reopening in October 2014, boasting new features such as a grand entrance lined with restaurants and outdoor dining, a redesigned layout enabling better retailer accessibility and visibility, new finishes, and unique gathering spaces and amenities. A noteworthy tenant lineup mixes traditional department stores with top retail brands, destination restaurants, a movie theater, and a state-of-the-art health club; additions include Nordstrom Rack, Michael Kors, J. Crew, and Pandora, as well as first-to-market tenants Topshop/Topman, Dave & Busters, Wood Ranch BBQ, Chuy’s Mexican Food and Yard House.
Regency Centers
Jacksonville, Florida

Of its 2.3 million sq. ft. of redevelopments, Regency Centers points to its Westlake Plaza project, in Westlake, California, as its most significant. Originally built in 1967 for the Westlake and Thousand Oaks community, the historic Westlake Plaza post-redevelopment features breezy paseos, quaint storefront trellises and lush gathering areas which work with the early-Californian architecture. Redeveloping Westlake brought improvements such as environmental efficiencies, natural finishes, site amenities, improved walkability, and lineup of unique eateries, boutiques and wellness merchants.   

Rouse Properties
New York City

Three projects totaling 335,400 sq. ft. summarized Rouse Properties’ 2014/2015 redevelopment activities, of which the company’s Shoppes at Knollwood (St. Louis Park, Minnesota) was the most noteworthy. Rouse invested $31.8 million into the 220,400-sq.-ft. property, which included a de-malling that converted a circa-1955 enclosed regional center into an open-air power center. The mall was demolished in 2014, and Rouse constructed new, exterior-facing junior boxes and small-shop space, as well as a new outparcel building. New tenants include Nordstrom Rack, ULTA Dress Barn, Smashburger and Panera Bread. Rouse then sold the property for $106.7 million to Heitman LLC, generating proceeds of $54.7 million after payoff of existing debt, escrows, and remaining construction costs, which will be recycled into acquisitions and capital investments within Rouse’s existing portfolio.

Simon Property Group
Indianapolis, Indiana

A redevelopment giant, Simon Property Group redeveloped more than 23 million sq. ft. in the survey timeframe, encompassing eight expansion projects and 19 redevelopments. The most significant, said Simon, was the 25-store expansion of Las Vegas North Premium Outlets, situated at the intersection of Interstate 15 and Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas.  Now one of the largest centers in the country with 175 stores, the expansion features designer and name brands including Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, AG Adriano Goldschmied, AllSaints, Bally, Canali, Catimini, CH Carolina Herrera, Citizen, Helmut Lang, John Varvatos, Rag & Bone, Under Armour and Vera Bradley.

Los Angeles, California

Last year, Westfield redeveloped 1.12 million sq. ft. over 13 properties; this year, the company addressed five properties and 739,000 sq. ft.  The most significant was Westfield Montgomery, in Bethesda, Maryland; in November 2014, Westfield Montgomery celebrated the $90 million re-opening highlighted by the first East Coast location for ArcLight Cinemas as well as a new signature Dining Terrace offering a bistro-style experience, stylish furnishings, finishes and seating alongside new-to-market restaurateurs MET Bethesda and Lobster ME. Retail tenant additions so far include Lily Pulitzer, lululemon athletica, True Religion and Microsoft, with more new brands on the way.

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