REAL ESTATE

Kroger poised for growth in 2013

BY Staff Writer

Cincinnati — With a focus on increasing square footage and building its presence in both new and existing markets, Kroger is poised for growth in 2013.

Speaking at its investor conference in New York, Kroger unveiled its long-term strategy for enhanced growth, which included raising its long term, fully-diluted earnings per share growth target from 6% to 8% to 8% to 11%, plus a current dividend of 2.5%. To support its growth strategy, Kroger expects to increase capital spending by an incremental $200 million annually and increase return on invested capital.

Also today, Kroger’s board of directors approved a $500 million share repurchase program, replacing the existing authorization that had approximately $340 million remaining.

"Our proven strategy and market position provide a tremendous platform to accelerate growth and increase value creation for Kroger shareholders," said David Dillon, Kroger’s chairman and chief executive officer. "We are confident that Kroger’s unmatched knowledge of the customer and disciplined approach to deploying capital will drive growth at attractive levels of return. We will continue to use our strong free cash flow to deliver shareholder value through actions such as our recent 30% dividend increase and the continuation of our substantial share repurchase program."

In addition to selectively expanding its store base and the markets it serves, Kroger will also pursue other initiatives to drive growth, including:

  • New customer channels – Enhancing the company’s digital and mobile platforms by leveraging its world-class customer insights program.
  • New store formats – Testing new store formats to provide greater access and shopping flexibility to customers.

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REAL ESTATE

Northgate Mall redevelopment will add Ross and Michael’s

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chattanooga, Tenn. — CBL & Associates Properties said Monday it will renovate and redevelop its Northgate Mall property in Chattanooga, Tenn., with the first phase adding Ross Dress for Less and Michael’s Arts & Crafts, as well as redeveloping the adjacent T.J. Maxx-anchored community center.

Construction will begin on the associated center in early 2013 with completion anticipated in fall 2013.

In addition, CBL said it will launch a multi-million dollar renovation of Northgate Mall to include interior and exterior enhancements, main entrance updates and partial repaving of the parking lot. Remodeling inside the mall will include new soft seating areas, new flooring, and ceiling and lighting upgrades. The renovation is slated to begin in summer 2013, with a completion anticipated in fall 2013.

The 823,000-sq.-ft. Northgate Mall is anchored by Belk, J.C. Penney and Sears; the 70,000-sq.-ft. adjacent community center is tenanted by TJ Maxx and Catherine’s.

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REAL ESTATE

Grossman Development Group begins site work for Granite Ridge Marketplace

BY Staff Writer

Boston — Grossman Development Group (GDG), a boutique real estate development firm led by Howard Grossman, announced that it has begun site work for the 330,000-sq.-ft. Granite Ridge Marketplace, a 57-acre shopping center development located in Rochester, N.H.

The development, which boasts a trade area of 198,000 people, will feature a mix of anchor retail, junior anchor retail, small stores, restaurants and entertainment. It is located on Route 11, the gateway to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and close to the Maine border.

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