REAL ESTATE

Present Value Properties names new executive VP

BY Michael Fickes

Tustin, Calif. — Present Value Properties, a real estate brokerage and consultant, has appointed real estate veteran Bradley O. Whitaker executive VP. His responsibilities include expanding investment acquisitions and sales, develop partners and look for opportunities. In addition, he will open the firm’s first Utah office.

Prior to joining Present Value Properties, Whitaker served as the senior VP of real estate and station development for Transfuels LLC, a developer of liquid natural gas stations nationally. Previously he was president and CEO of the Whitaker Group, a regional shopping center developer.

During his career, Whitaker has procured more than 1,800 restaurants, 75 hotels, 50 shopping centers and other commercial real estate projects and ventures. Whitaker has developed in almost all the major markets in the United States and in many international markets.

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REAL ESTATE

Simon to spin off Washington Prime Group

BY Michael Fickes

IndianapolisSimon Property Group plans to distribute all of the common shares of Washington Prime Group Inc. to Simon stockholders. Following the distribution, Washington Prime will be an independent, publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “WPG.”

Washington Prime will own or have an interest in 54 strip centers and 44 smaller enclosed malls across the United States, comprising approximately 53 million sq. ft.

Washington Prime intends to elect and qualify to be taxed as a real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

Plans call for the distribution of shares to occur on May 28 by way of a pro rata special dividend to Simon stockholders. Each Simon stockholder will be entitled to receive one Washington Prime common share for every two shares of Simon common stock held as of the close of business on May 16, 2014, the record date for the distribution.

Fractional shares of Washington Prime will not be distributed, and instead Simon stockholders will receive cash in lieu of any fractional shares they would otherwise be entitled to receive in the distribution.

Persons who hold common limited partnership interests in Simon’s subsidiary operating partnership, Simon Property Group, will be entitled to receive one unit of limited partnership interest in Washington Prime’s subsidiary operating partnership, Washington Prime Group, for every two units owned in Simon Property Group. Limited partners of Simon Property Group will receive cash in lieu of any fractional units of Washington Prime Group.

Washington Prime common shares will be distributed in book-entry form, which means that no physical share certificates will be issued.

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News

Whole Foods’ record revenue increase not enough for Street

BY CSA STAFF

Despite the Easter holiday shift, Whole Foods reported second-quarter revenue of $3.32 billion, a record increase of 10% from the prior-year quarter. But the record was not enough for Wall Street, which expected $3.34 billion.

The company’s earnings per share of 38 cents for the quarter also came in below expectations of 41 cents per share.

Comparable store sales, including the negative impact of approximately 50 basis points from Easter shifting from the second quarter last year to the third quarter this year, increased 4.5% on top of a 6.9% increase in the prior year. The spread between comparable store and identical store sales growth for the quarter due to five relocations and one expansion was approximately 50 basis points.

"The rapidly growing demand for fresh, healthy foods affirms our mission for the last 36 years and highlights the increasing growth opportunity ahead of us," said co-founder and co-CEO John Mackey. "Whole Foods Market is the premier brand in natural and organic foods, with unparalleled quality standards and the broadest selection. As we continue to innovate and evolve at a fast pace, we are confident in our ability to gain market share and expect our sales to approach $25 billion during the next five years."

Since the end of the first quarter, the company has added eight stores in six new markets. In the second quarter, the company opened three new stores. So far in the third quarter, the company has opened one new store and completed its acquisition of four New Frontiers Natural Marketplace stores in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona, Ariz.; and San Luis Obispo, Calif. The company expects to open seven additional stores in the third quarter and another 11 to 14 stores in the fourth quarter.

Whole Foods currently operates 379 stores totaling approximately 14.4 million sq. ft. and expects to cross the 500-store mark in 2017. Longer term, the company still sees demand for 1,200 Whole Foods Market stores in the United States.

The company has increased its development pipeline to a record 114 stores with the signing of nine new leases, including one relocation, totaling approximately 410,000 sq. ft. These leases include three new markets and are located in Fayetteville, Ariz.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Indianapolis, Ind.; Metuchen, N.J.; Chappaqua, N.Y.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Lower Gwynedd Township, Pa.; Fort Worth, Texas; and Richmond, Va.

Looking ahead, the company is revising its fiscal year 2014 outlook and now expects sales growth of approximately 11%, comparable store sales growth of 5% to 5.5% and diluted earnings per share of $1.52 to $1.56.

The company expects the Easter shift to positively impact comparable store sales growth in the third quarter by approximately 50 basis points.

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