Shopping Center REIT Execs Push Back Against Negative Fallout from Retailer Bankruptcies
May 1, 2017 | by Randyl Drummer | CoStar
Retail REITs have been hitting back against the onslaught of negative retail headlines and analyst sentiments during the current round of quarterly earnings conference calls, with executives touting robust leasing, strong shopper foot traffic and occupancies, and even rising rental rates.
“Reports of the death of retail real estate have been greatly exaggerated, and Kimco’s strong first quarter is living proof,” said Conor Flynn, CEO of Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM). “Our leasing volume has validated the success of our transformation in helping to offset the challenging retail environment the industry is currently experiencing.”
Simon Property Group Inc. Chairman and CEO David Simon said the company continues to see strong demand across its portfolio, with occupancy at the firm’s mall and premium outlets standing at 95.6% at the end of the first quarter amid solid leasing activity. Simon’s mall and outlet center retailers reported sales of $615 per square foot, a 30-basis-point increase to the prior year period, and Simon said the average base minimum rent increased 4.4% from a year ago.
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