Retail Properties of America, Inc. [RPAI]

RPAI-case-study-feature

OVERVIEW

RPAI is one of the largest owners and operators of shopping centers in the country. TRC’s relationship with RPAI goes back 10 years, when the self-managed REIT (real estate investment trust) was known as Inland Western. The company handled its own leasing at the time, but wanted an experienced outside brokerage house to manage its growing empire. Enter TRC’s brokerage team, which has proven itself proficient at managing as many as 12 RPAI local power centers, with additional properties in Houston and San Antonio.

The team has also helped RPAI’s centers—in particular, Southlake Corners in Southlake, Texas, Pleasant Run in Cedar Hill, Texas and Denton Crossing in Denton, Texas—weather economic downturns when retailers such as Circuit City went out of business and created anchor vacancies.

CHALLENGES/OPPORTUNITIES

TRC continues to expertly backfill vacancies with high-quality anchors such as HomeGoods, Target and Total Wine, ensuring high occupancy rates and a critical mix of must-have tenants—and it’s no easy task. Extensive anchor tenant restrictions and exclusives mean more work for brokers to ensure the shopping center owner is securing the right tenant mix. Leasing directors with large portfolios rely on experienced brokers who are adept at qualifying new tenants, anticipating potential difficulties, managing expectations and preparing for every scenario.

TRC’s brokers can’t walk on water, but they know where the stumps are.

Other challenges such as longer city permitting processes, higher construction costs and time-sensitive openings also are hurdles to overcome. TRC’s industry experience creates better visibility and speedier leasing times for all parties.

RESULTS

TRC currently manages seven RPAI power centers in the Dallas area, ranging from 180,000 to 350,000 square feet, with anchors that include Super Target, Kroger, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Total Wine & More, Best Buy and HomeGoods. In the last 10 years, TRC has leased 241,536 square feet, for 42 deals in Austin, 36 in the DFW area, 5 in San Antonio, 1 in Houston locations and continues to add new centers when RPAI needs “a fixer” to backfill vacancies for in-house managed properties.