Focus on: America’s Top Redevelopers
In its seventh year, the annual Top Redevelopers survey took a little turn. Chain Store Age’s coverage of the prior year’s redevelopment highlights has been expanded to include an additional six-month period in order to make the results as current as possible. So, instead of covering redevelopment projects that occurred during calendar year 2010, this year’s results include the first six months of 2011, as well.
Otherwise, the seventh annual ranking of the country’s top redevelopers is unchanged — still interesting, revealing and not very objective. Just as in years past, we have tried to make the selection process as fair as possible, but that’s an uphill battle. Not enough information is available to formulate a totally foolproof ranking system. Only a handful of developers report financial investments in redeveloped projects, and many tally redevelopment square footage in differing ways.
Of all the entries that poured in, we chose 10 based on number of properties redeveloped, total square feet impacted and significant projects. They are listed alphabetically, because it would be impossible to rank one above the other. For every developer listed on these pages, there’s at least three more that could have been listed — which is testament that redevelopment activity is alive and well in the United States.
Brixmor Property Group
In the 18-month period between Jan. 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, Brixmor Property Group (then Centro Properties Group) redeveloped six properties in Louisiana, South Carolina, Indiana, Virginia, Ohio and Mississippi, but the > developer counts Hilltop Plaza, in Virginia Beach, as its most significant. The 149,533-sq.-ft. property was converted from a primarily home-furnishing-anchored shopping center into a value-and-necessities destination featuring a 27,000-sq.-ft. PetSmart, a 13,000-sq.-ft. Trader Joe’s and a Five Below.
Kimco Realty Co.
New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Of the 15 properties it redeveloped in the survey period, perennial placer Kimco Realty pointed to Andrews Shopping Center, a 16-acre complex located in Charleston, S.C., as its most significant. The 184,000-sq.-ft. neighborhood and community center underwent a $13 million redevelopment that included a new 52,000-sq.-ft. Harris Teeter anchor, new buildings, trees and new facades on existing structures. Stein Mart, West Marine, Petco and Tuesday Morning also anchor the shopping center.
Levin Management Corp.
North Plainfield, N.J.
Levin invested $10 million in the renovation of Hamilton Plaza, in Hamilton, N.J., and considers the project particularly noteworthy as it included the substantial expansion of anchor ShopRite, from 53,000 sq. ft. to 86,000 sq. ft. Partial demolition of the center’s main building enabled the expanded store to emerge with a new appearance and, more importantly, with additional parking in its immediate front. The former loading docks, which were close to a new residential community built long after the center was constructed, were demolished, and new docks were built in a far less intrusive location. Also, as part of the project, Hamilton Plaza has re-emerged with a new modern appearance, upgraded signage, improved traffic flow, redesigned and expanded landscaping, a new 10,000-sq.-ft. endcap and two new pad sites.
Phillips Edison & Co.
New to the list this year is Phillips Edison, which redeveloped 1.6 million sq. ft. during the survey period. Cox Creek Plaza, in Florence, Ala., is a highlighted project, as the redevelopment increased occupancy at the center from 8% to 94%. Prior to the redevelopment at Cox Creek Plaza, Cato and Advanced Weight Loss were the only shops open for business at the shopping center. The plan was to split up the former Walmart and find a suitable replacement tenant for Old Navy. The Walmart box was split into two anchor tenants (Ross Dress for Less and JoAnn Fabric) and one junior anchor (Shoe Carnival). Bed Bath & Beyond opened at the center, which allowed Phillips Edison to replace the exiting Old Navy store and expand into part of the Walmart premises.
Regency points to the 2010 redevelopment of Willston Centre II in Falls Church, Va., as its most significant. The 24-year-old, 135,862-sq.-ft. Safeway-anchored center, which Regency acquired in 2005, underwent a huge renovation that included replacing Safeway’s undersized store with a larger prototype, and providing a new exterior façade, upgraded architectural components, new signage, lighting and parking lot improvements. In keeping with Regency’s sustainability commitment, the center was one of a select group nationwide to partner with the U.S. Department of Energy to install LED parking lot lights. The lights will reduce parking lot energy needs by more than 50% and maintenance costs by 80% compared with traditional parking lot lights. Regency’s total cost on the project was $2 million and, as a result of the redevelopment, Regency was able to improve the long-term profitability of the project while enhancing the quality of its tenant mix and consumer draw. >
imon Property Group
Of the nearly 2.1 million sq. ft. of newly redeveloped space, Simon said that Houston Premium Outlets, in Cypress, Texas, is a project to showcase. A November 2010 expansion of 114,000 sq. ft. brought the property to a total of 541,000 sq. ft. of GLA and 145 total stores. Phase II added 25 new merchants, including Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, which will become the center’s largest store, A/X Armani Exchange, American Eagle Outfitters, Chico’s, David Yurman, Ed Hardy, Esprit, Haggar Clothing Co., J. Crew, Jockey, Joe’s Jeans, Jos. A. Bank, Lacoste, Merrell, Nautica, New York & Co., Nestle Toll House by Chip, Original Penguin, Talbots, Tory Burch, Tumi, White House | Black Market and Wilsons Leather.
Steiner + Associates
Steiner and co-developer Mall Properties invested $300 million in the redevelopment of Peninsula Town Center, in Hampton, Va. The remake of an outdated, inward-focused mall, Peninsula Town Center features 1.1 million sq. ft. of mixed-use space, including 850,000 sq. ft. of retail, 115,000 sq. ft. of office space and 158 residential units. The property provides many firsts for the market in retail and dining, as well as entertainment venues such as the state-of-the-art Cinebistro, which features eight movie screens and nine bowling lanes. The grand opening of the redeveloped project was March 2010.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Taubman’s three projects in the survey period included a 33,000-sq.-ft. addition to the Mall at Short Hills, in Short Hills, N.J., as well as significant tenant enhancements to its Shops at Willow Bend in Plano, Texas, which added a new Crate & Barrel and Restoration Hardware, plus a new plaza. A redevelopment highlight was the rebranding of Great Lakes Crossings, in Auburn Hills, Mich., to Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in September 2010.
Ever present on our Top Redevelopers list is Westfield, which tackled 2,275,000 sq. ft. in the survey period over a total of nine projects. The company highlights its Westfield Sydney project — in the heart of the Sydney (Australia) central business district — as its most significant, as it integrates three former retail centers into a new cosmopolitan destination. Westfield invested $1.1 billion over two years of construction to create a vertical, upscale shopping experience, with 130 new fashion and food specialty stores open for business across seven levels. The unique interior design is by internationally renowned, Tokyo-based Wonderwall, whose projects include the Colette store in Paris and Uniqlo stores worldwide. Melbourne firm John Wardle Architects designed the commercial tower and exterior building. Both design firms worked in close collaboration with the Westfield design and construction teams for the duration of the project. The project officially opened October 2010.
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
WS Development completed 419,997 sq. ft. of redeveloped shopping center space during the period. The Center at Lenox, in Lenox, Mass., relocated an existing Price Chopper anchor into a new, environmentally friendly building. Besides parking lot and façade improvements, the project added a standalone CVS and added space for Berkshire Bank. The redevelopment marks the completion of the first phase of a renovation that will impact the entire 194,000-sq.-ft. center. A second phase will bring 85,000 sq. ft. of new retail space.