REAL ESTATE

X Team International expands into San Antonio with new partner

BY Melonie Messina

San Antonio, Texas — X Team International, an international alliance of retail real estate advisors with expertise in more than 45 major markets throughout the U.S. and Canada, announced that it has welcomed San Antonio-based REATA Real Estate as its newest partner.

A full-service commercial real estate company, REATA Real Estate represents several national tenants, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Whataburger, Zoe’s Kitchen, Men’s Wearhouse and Dollar Tree. They offer a range of services, including tenant representation, office services, project leasing, development, property management, investment and land sales.

“We have had our eye on San Antonio for several years, and are pleased to have REATA Real Estate join our alliance to round out our Texas presence,” said Jonathan Lapat, president for X Team International. “REATA’s strong retail client base and extensive market knowledge will benefit future growth and development in San Antonio and create a stronger X Team presence throughout Texas.”

As an X Team International partner, REATA Real Estate will service San Antonio, Central and South Texas.

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REAL ESTATE

American Dream mega-mall adds huge Primark store

BY Mike Troy

The American Dream mall will encompass three million square feet when it opens in northern New Jersey in 2017 and occupying 100,000 sq. ft. of that space will be fashion retailer Primark.

Primark, a leading European retailer (290 stores in 10 countries) of women’s, men’s and children’s apparel and home good, opened its first two U.S. stores in late 2015 in Boston and the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania. The company has also announced plans for six additional locations in 2016. The new store at American Dream, one of Primark’s largest, will be the company’s first in northern New Jersey.

"We are delighted to be joining this superb location in the New York Metropolitan area," said Paul Marchant, Primark’s CEO. "The opening of our store at American Dream is a notable step forward in our focused momentum in the Northeast, and we look forward to continuing to provide our amazing fashion at amazing prices to new Primark customers."

American Dream is being developed by Triple Five Group of Companies, owners of the two largest shopping and entertainment centers in North America – Mall of America and West Edmonton Mall. The company has previously vowed that when the massive complex opens in the spring of 2017 it will redefine retail and set the standard for what customer experience looks like moving forward.

It’s hard to argue with that assertion given the location and the scope of the project. American Dream is located in Bergen County, New Jersey at the Meadowlands Sports Complex at the intersection of three major highways – I-95, Route 3, Route 120 – that service more than 100 Million vehicles annually and connected by passenger rail service to Penn Station in Manhattan.

So far, anchor tenants include Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor along with more than 450 retailers, including Aritzia, Banana Republic, Gap, Lululemon, MAC, Microsoft, Pink, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret and Zara and food and specialty shops. In addition, the mall will contain North America's largest fully-enclosed indoor DreamWorks Water Park, Amusement Park and a 16-story Big Snow Indoor Ski & Snow Park; a 1,500 seat live Performing Arts Theater; 285-ft. tall observation wheel; luxury movie theatres by Cinemex; 70,000-sq.-ft. Sea Life Aquarium & Lego Discovery Center; NHL-size Ice Rink; and an18-hole miniature golf course. An area of the mall called The Collections encompasses 460,000 sq. ft. of luxury and fashion retail and The Dining Terrace will contain 15 full-service restaurants showcased in one location.

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REAL ESTATE

Convenience stores keep advancing

BY Gina Acosta

Despite plummeting fuel prices, the ranks of convenience stores swelled to a record level last year.

The U.S. convenience store count increased to 154,195 stores as of Dec. 31, a 0.9% increase (1,401 stores) from the year prior, according to the 2016 NACS/Nielsen Convenience Industry Store Count.

Within the retail universe that Nielsen tracks, convenience stores account for 34.2% of all outlets in the United States, which is significantly higher than the U.S. total of other retail channels including superettes, supermarket and supercenters (51,055 stores), drug stores (41,969 stores) and dollar stores (27,378 stores).

Overall, 80.7% of convenience stores (124,374) sell motor fuels.

"Our continued growth shows that our industry’s core offer of convenience resonates with time-starved customers, whether they are searching for a fuel fill-up, a quick and healthy snack, a refreshing drink or for fill-in groceries or take-out meals,” NACS chairman Jack Kofdarali, president of Corona, California-based J&T Management Inc.

The convenience retailing industry continues to be dominated by single-store operators, which account for 63.1% of all convenience stores (97,359 stores total) and 74.3% of store growth in 2015.

Among the states, Texas continues to lead in store count with 15,607 stores. The rest of the top 10 states for convenience stores are California (11,540), Florida (9,909), New York (8,446), Georgia (6,765), North Carolina (6,330), Ohio (5,605), Michigan, (4,880), Illinois (4,732) and Pennsylvania (4,706), the same top 10 as 2015. All states experienced year-over-year increases with the exception of Georgia (-1 store) and Michigan (-27 stores).

The bottom three states in terms of store count are Alaska (206 stores), Wyoming (357) and Delaware (350).

The convenience retailing industry has roughly doubled in size over the last three decades. At year-end 1985, the store count was 90,900 stores, at year-end 1995 the store count was 101,100 stores and at year-end 2005 the store count was 140,665 stores.

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