Insights

Cohen to market the Shoppes of Silverwood in Ricon, Ga.

BY Michael Fickes

New York — Cohen Real Estate, a Manhattan-based full-service brokerage firm specializing in retail properties throughout the United States, has been retained to market Shoppes of Silverwood, a full-service strip shopping center located in Ricon, Georgia.

The 65,571-sq. ft. shopping center is 100% occupied. A Kroger supermarket anchors the center. Kroger has seen a significant and steady increase in sales over the last few years, adding value to the property. Other tenants include Cato’s, Hong Kong Buffet, Pizza Hut, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, and First Chatham Bank. Although the property is completely occupied, the new owner can add a 3,150-sq. ft. end-cap store.

Providing excellent visibility and easy access, Shoppes of Silverwood is located 30 minutes north of Savannah, Georgia. Situated on 5652-5667 U.S. Highway 21 South with a signalized intersection, the location achieves traffic counts of approximately 17,780 cars per day.

In order to take advantage of the current financial markets, Cohen has said that the property is being offered free and clear.

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Insights

Stockholders approve Inland-Kite merger

BY Michael Fickes

Oak Brook, Ill. — Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust stockholders have voted overwhelmingly to approve the previously announced merger with Kite Realty Group Trust. Assuming all conditions to closing the merger have been satisfied, it is expected to close on or after July 1, 2014.

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REAL ESTATE

Levin’s mid-year survey reports optimism among retailers

BY Michael Fickes

North Plainfield, N.J.Levin Management has released its annual June survey of store mangers within its 95-property, 13 million-sq. ft. shopping center portfolio.

According to the survey, 58.2% of respondents believe that adverse weather conditions during the first months of the year had a negative impact on sales. Even so, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that total retail sales for the period of March through May 2014 rose 4.3% from the same period a year ago.

Memorial Day weekend sales were up, with 49.5% of the store managers reporting sales the same or better than last year, up from 37.5% in the 2013 survey.

Looking forward, retailers report a positive outlook for the rest of 2014. More than half — 52% — of Levin’s respondents believe that sales will improve in the coming months. This represents a significant jump over last year’s survey, in which only 34.5% anticipated improving sales. Another 16.3% anticipate that sales will remain about the same during the second half of the year.

Hiring trends among the survey respondents mirror last year. Just over 33% in the mid-year 2014 and mid-year 2013 surveys indicated that they have increased store staff since January. Nearly 28% plan to add jobs during the second half of the year.

Store expansion plans are on the rise, too. At mid-year, 30.6% of respondents indicated that their company has or will open new stores in 2014, up significantly from 23.3% in 2013.

Technology has become important to Levin’s survey respondents. A vast majority — 86.5% — indicated active use of mobile apps, social media, email, texting and other tools to attract customers. That percentage is up slightly from the 85.1% of respondents in the 2013 survey. That said, a full 68.4% said they have increased technology use over the past year.

Levin will conduct its next retail sentiment survey in the fall, prior to the holiday shopping season.

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