REAL ESTATE

Phillips Edison forms $4 billion grocery-focused REIT

BY Al Urbanski

Phillips Edison, one of the nation’s largest owners and operators of grocery-anchored shopping centers, has formed a new $4 billion REIT focused on this still-growing sector of physical retail.

The Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT I was formed with the acquisition of certain real estate assets and third-party management businesses of its former sponsor and external advisor, Phillips Edison Limited Partnership.

The new enterprise will manage a portfolio of 235 centers across 32 states, representing more than 26 million sq. ft. of retail space.

“This strategic acquisition allows us to benefit from one of retail real estate’s most comprehensive and successful operating platforms, which was built over the past 25 years,” said chairman and CEO Jeff Edison in an official company statement. “We are now better able to capitalize on growth in the grocery-anchored shopping center industry by gaining scale through our portfolio [and] our asset management business.”

Necessity-based centers, the company noted, “have proven to be both internet and recession resilient.”

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REAL ESTATE

Big mall owner CBL launches a rebranding campaign

BY Al Urbanski

Malls are not going away entirely, but the word “mall” may be an endangered concept.

CBL Properties, one of the nation’s biggest mall operators, with 121 of them in 27 states, has announced a rebranding campaign that that reflects a new strategic direction focused on operating community gathering places, not mere shopping centers.

“The rebrand aligns our corporate vocabulary with our current strategy and vision for the future of CBL,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president and CEO. “Our properties are not just about retail or shopping.”

Lebovitz is among the group of retail property owners who look at empty Macy’s and Penney’s stores and see an opportunity to fill the holes with tenants that might bring in more rent, as well as customers.

“[The properties] are evolving through the addition of more food, entertainment, service, fitness and other new uses, and we are actively exploring adding hotels, medical, office, residential and education components,” Lebovitz said.

While CBL &amp Associates Properties, Inc. will remain the company’s legal name, it will now go by the name CBL Properties publically.


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REAL ESTATE

Joplin power center changes hands

BY Al Urbanski

Chase Properties has acquired North Point Shopping Center in Joplin, Missouri, from Kimco Realty Corp.

The 155,416-sq.-ft. power center is a retail focal point in this former mining town of 50,000 people, which is now a major transportation hub and medical center in the region. Median household income, according to the U.S. Census bureau, is $38,000.

North Points’ key tenants are Ross Dress For Less, Ashley Furniture, PetSmart, Dollar Tree, and Party City.

Mid-American Real Estate and Pace Properties brokered the deal on behalf of Kimco.


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