Sembler Co. shifts into high gear
St. Petersburg, Fla. — On the eve of RECon 2014, The Sembler Co. is gunning its development, property management and acquisition motors. The company has more than 2.8 million sq. ft. in various stages of ground-up development. Its leasing and retention rates are at the highest levels in years. And the company’s acquisition program is active as well.
On the development side, Sembler and partner Lennar Commercial are in the predevelopment stage of an 800,000-sq.-ft. regional shopping center called Town Madison in Madison, Alabama.
Sembler has also completed two Wawa stores in Florida and four Walgreens stores in Puerto Rico in the last six months.
The firm’s third-party management and leasing assignments are up — rising 900,000 sq. ft. in 2013 alone.
“Our management portfolio is over 95% leased,” said Steve Althoff, senior VP of leasing and property management. “The centers are better occupied, with retention rates at their highest in years.”
As for acquisitions, Sembler and Forge Capital have purchased a number of shopping centers through their Forge Real Estate Partners III investment fund.
Acquisitions include Tarrymore Square, a 256,805-sq.-ft. center in north Raleigh, North Carolina. Since the purchase, two new tenants — Compare Foods and Citi Trends — have commenced construction.
The fund’s most recent purchase, Dale Mabry Shopping Center in Tampa, Florida, is currently 100% leased after a smooth transition of its anchor store from Sweet Bay to a Winn Dixie.
Chico’s to make Canadian debut with three stores in August
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New York – Chico’s FAS Inc. will bring its namesake brand to Canada, opening three stores in Ontario in August.
"We could not be more thrilled for the opening of the first Chico’s boutique in Canada," said Cinny Murray, Chico’s brand president. "I’m so excited to bring the women of Canada fabulous Chico’s fashion; this is an incredible growth opportunity for our brand."
Chico’s Canadian outposts will be based on a new store prototype that features a mix of curated finishes and materials based in warm tones with subtle animal prints. Design elements include iconic woven entry doors, luggage details on fixtures and layers of artifacts as props.
The locations include Square One Shopping Centre in Mississauga, Ontario; Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, Ontario; and Mapleview Shopping Centre in Burlington, Ontario.
Square One is owned by Oxford Properties Group and Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo). Upper Canada Mall is owned by Oxford Properties Group and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Mapleview Shopping Centre is owned and operated by Ivanhoe Cambridge.
CST Brands plans 38 new stores
San Antonio – Convenience store operator CST Brands plans to open 38 new stores in North America during fiscal 2014. That includes 30 new stores in the U.S. and eight in Canada.
CST says the new stores will provide a much larger footprint, more product variety and enhanced food service offerings. The company has opened eight new stores in the U.S. and one in Canada so far in 2014. In addition, CST has identified 117 existing stores as good candidates for network optimization, either by selling them to outside parties or to its own wholesale business.
The new store announcement came as part of CST’s financial report for the first quarter of fiscal 2014. The company’s net income fell 52% from $23 million to $11 million, with the expense of becoming a public company a major factor. Revenues dropped 6% from $3.2 billion to $3 billion, driven by declining sales and prices in motor fuels.
“As we celebrate our one year anniversary as a separate company, we are making tremendous strides on the initiatives we outlined following our spin,” said Kim Bowers, chairman and CEO of CST Brands. “We have significantly increased our new store builds, our fuel margin capture continues to improve and our focus on food and overall inside margin is positioning us for a solid year in 2014.”