REAL ESTATE

Shopko closing some stores amid report of restructuring

BY Marianne Wilson

Shopko Stores is downsizing its store portfolio.

The Wisconsin-based discounter plans to close 39 locations, with all but one operating under the Shopko Hometown banner. Liquidation sales are scheduled to start on Dec. 7, and the stores expected to close at the end of February.

The news about the closings follows a Debtwire report that said Shopko management is working with Kirkland & Ellis as legal counsel as its top-line buckles in a tumultuous retail environment and that the company is consulting with BRG for restructuring assistance.

According to Debtwire, Shopko’s earnings have been hamstrung by the consumer pullback in brick-and-mortar shopping. To offset top-line erosion, management has taken down costs by reducing SG&A. This past summer, Shopko asked for relief from a group of vendors to lower their cost of products by a mid-to-high single-digit percentage, Debtwire said.

Shopko currently operates 363 stores throughout the Central, Western and Pacific Northwest regions. In 2005, it was purchased by Sun Capital Partners.

Here is a list of the stores scheduled to shutter:
• Leadville, Colorado
• Buena Vista, Colorado
• Bonners Ferry, Idaho
• Dwight, Illinois
• Webster City, Iowa
• Cherokee, Iowa
• Eldora, Iowa
• Anthony, Kansas
• Russell, Kansas
• Phillipsburg, Kansas
• Clay Center, Kansas
• Lyons, Kansas
• Larned, Kansas
• Brandenburg, Kentucky
• Mahnomen, Minnesota
• Paynesville, Minnesota
• Albany, Missouri
• Plentywood, Montana
• Lincoln, Nebraska
• Ord, Nebraska
• Kimball, Nebraska
• Lovington, New Mexico
• Oakes, North Dakota
• Stanley, North Dakota
• Lisbon, North Dakota
• Mayville, North Dakota
• Fairview, Oklahoma
• Redfield, South Dakota
• Wagner, South Dakota
• Webster, South Dakota
• Dell Rapids, South Dakota
• Presidio, Texas
• Delta, Utah
• Nephi, Utah
• Blanding, Utah
• Beaver, Utah
• Spokane, Washington
• Mauston, Wisconsin
• Greybull, Wyoming

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REAL ESTATE

Simon takes electric vehicle charging to next level

BY Marianne Wilson

Simon is helping customers charge their electric vehicles faster than ever before. It has installed an ultra-fast electric vehicle charging system at its San Francisco Premium Outlets.

Simon has installed an ultra-fast electric vehicle charging system at its San Francisco Premium Outlets, in Livermore, Calif. It is California’s first location for EV systems featuring super-fast recharging speeds up to 350 kilowatts (kW) from Electrify America. As part of its ongoing sustainability strategy, Simon teamed with Electrify America to open 10 DC fast chargers at San Francisco Premium Outlets for public use.

The charging site features eight 150 kW chargers and two 350 kW chargers. The 350 kW chargers are capable of recharging an electric vehicle at 20 miles a minute providing 200 miles of vehicle driving range in just 10 minutes.

“We are delighted to be the first location in California to offer EV owners the fastest charging option available in the U.S.,” said Jamal Porter, West Regional VP of management for Premium Outlets. “Our customers expect a premium experience and these fast chargers offer the latest technology to provide a convenient, reliable and quick recharging experience.”

The 10 Electrify America chargers are co-located with 20 Tesla Superchargers making San Francisco Premium Outlets one of the nation’s largest multi-standard fast charging sites.

In addition to San Francisco Premium Outlets, Electrify America will install charging systems at Simon locations nationwide including 17 centers in California, with 95 additional chargers.

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JLL: High-profile transactions driving retail investment in 2018

BY Marianne Wilson

A strong holiday season is expected to help control mall vacancies in early 2019.

That’s according to the Q3 U.S. Retail Investment Outlook, which was released Wednesday by JLL at the International Council of Shopping Centers New York Conference. Retail transaction volume totaled $56.9 billion year-to-date at the end of the third quarter, the report said. Volumes were paced by two major deals this year: Brookfield’s purchase of GGP in Q3 and Unibail-Rodamco’s purchase of Westfield earlier this year. As a result, year-to-date investment sales grew by 36.1%, by far the largest growth rate of any property sector so far this year.

Aside from the boost in mall transaction volume due to the high-profile transactions, urban retail assets were the other property type to mark an increase in liquidity thus far in 2018, with volumes rising by 7.8%. Outside these major transactions, liquidity for individual non-core mall assets remains limited, with these assets often fetching double-digit cap rates. This is true of all retail however, not just the mall sector, as mounting bankruptcies are leading to some softening in overall fundamentals.

“The sector has shown steady fundamentals and growth this year overall with vacancy compressing nationally to 4.5% in the third quarter,” said Naveen Jaggi, president of JLL Retail Brokerage and Capital Markets. “As is typical for this time of year, bankruptcies are starting to increase, and we expect that to slow down overall volumes somewhat as investors will wait on sidelines. That said, developers have done a good job of managing pipeline activity as construction starts slowed by 11.1% from the same quarter last year. This, coupled with what should be an incredibly strong holiday shopping season, should help easily control vacancy in early 2019.”

New York and Los Angeles led primary market investment, with 35.7% and 18.3% growth in transactions, respectively, including assets from those major acquisitions. Grocery was one of the better performing sectors, with momentum in non-gateway primary and secondary markets that are experiencing notable employment growth, with Seattle, Northern New Jersey and Atlanta leading the way in the third quarter.

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