Report: 2012 sees improved leasing for retail real estate
North Plainfield, N.J. — A Thursday report by Levin Management Corp. found that leasing activity in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania improved in 2012.
According to Levin, much of the existing Class A vacancy has been absorbed, and yet leasing momentum continues. Additionally, following a period dominated by growth among value-oriented concepts, 2012 brought stepped-up leasing by restaurants as well as personal services, gyms and other tenants providing non-essential goods and services, said Levin, which reflects a renewed confidence in consumer spending and continued economic improvement.
Levin saw increased activity in the dining category, particularly through targeted regional growth by Chipotle, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Smashburger.
Supermarkets also were active, as national chains Stop & Shop and ShopRite, along with specialized grocers like Fairway Market, smaller formats such as Fresh Market, and specialized local shops geared toward a neighborhood’s ethnicity all are expanding regionally.
Apparel, on the other hand, presents a mixed bag, said Levin. Purely value-driven concepts like TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Ross continue to do well and add locations. Some higher-end retailers, including Chico’s, are expanding as sales rebound while others are weeding out underperforming stores. The middle tier still is feeling a pinch in terms of sales volume and ongoing consolidations.
Ultimately, reported Levin, the level and scope of new leasing activity in 2012 indicates that retail has again entered a positive trajectory.
CBL acquires interest in Kirkwood Mall
Bismarck, N.D. — Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties announced Thursday that it plans to acquire Kirkwood Mall, located in Bismarck, N.D., from Radiant Partners.
In December 2012, CBL completed the acquisition of a 49% non-controlling interest in Kirkwood Mall. Additionally, CBL has executed an agreement to acquire the remaining 51% interest. CBL anticipates closing on the remaining 51% interest within 90 days (subject to lender approval), including the assumption of a $40.4 million non-recourse loan secured by the property, which bears a fixed interest rate of 5.75% and matures in April 2018.
“The acquisition of Kirkwood Mall will add a high-quality and growing property to our portfolio of market-dominant regional malls,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO of CBL. “Similar to Dakota Square Mall in Minot, N.D., which we acquired in 2012, Kirkwood Mall is enjoying remarkable growth.”
The 850,000-sq.-ft. Kirkwood Mall was originally developed in 1971 and was last renovated in 2002. The mall is anchored by Herberger’s, Keating Furniture, J.C. Penney, Scheel’s All Sport and Target.
Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts to open at Conyers Plaza
Conyers, Ga. — Brixmor Property Group announced a 24,920-sq.-ft. lease was executed with Jo-Ann Fabric and Crafts at Conyers Plaza, located in Conyers, Ga.
Brixmor, based in New York City, is the owner of Conyers Plaza.