KIMCO IN THE NEWS: Q3 2016 RECAP
Another active quarter has come to a close, and we’re looking back at some of the high points. Kimco broke ground on some much anticipated shopping centers, and new, exciting leases were signed.
We also sized up the trends that will impact the future – for example, how is the grocery industry changing and how will those changes alter our course? Kimco’s experts were able to comment on how shifts like this will impact the future of our shopping centers.
Let’s look at the highlights of our Q3 media coverage.
Leaders in the industry
Conor Flynn, CEO, and Josh Weinkranz, president, Northeast region, both spoke to notable publications about open-air shopping centers and Kimco’s role in our communities.
“People are tending to gravitate toward the open-air shopping center today because of the safe, campus-type environment that is extremely welcoming,” Flynn told REIT.com. “It’s becoming almost like the main street where people want to be. We’re still a very social society, and that’s what we’re trying to foster. It’s about getting people excited to come to the shopping center at all times of the day.”
Weinkranz echoed those sentiments, adding that Kimco’s shopping centers have diverse tenant mixes and non-discretionary services, like nail salons or local eateries. “Whether the economy’s doing well or not, you still gotta get your hair cut, you still gotta go to the local pizza guy to get a slice of pizza,” he said to Bisnow.com. The bottom line: You can’t get those experiences from a website.
Now, on to sustainability. For the second straight year, Kimco was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, and we remain the only retail owner on the list. Kimco was also awarded the “Green Star” designation from the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) for the third year in a row, GRESB’s most sought-after designation. We received coverage for our new initiative to monitor and reduce water usage by installing sub-meters for tenants, which can more effectively uncover costly issues like plumbing leaks, and gives us insight on their water data.
Movers and shakers
Kimco’s transaction activity also made headlines. Take, for example, our recent pattern of dispositions: CoStar.com profiled our Q2 disposition activity ($563 million worth of deals involving 34 shopping centers) and continued exit from Canada.
We also strategically added to our portfolio, with the purchase of the remaining 85 percent interest in a four-property portfolio, and with the acquisition of Gaithersburg, Maryland’s Kentlands Market Square for $95 million. The addition of the Whole Foods-anchored Kentlands Market Square brings our year-to-date acquisition volume to the low end of our projected 2016 acquisition range of $450 million to $550 million.
In recent months, the company also began work on select development projects, including Houston’s Grand Parkway Marketplace and Florida’s Dania Pointe. These two power centers are vital developments in the regions’ pipelines and we’ve already signed on a number of tenants for both centers; at Grand Parkway, the early tenant lineup includes an anchor Target, DSW, Blaze Pizza, and Orangetheory Fitness.
All about REITS
REITs remain attractive to all types of investors, especially after the new Global Industry Classification Standard designation making real estate its own investment category became effective August 31 of this year. Kimco was highlighted in a SeekingAlpha.com “REIT Ranking” for shopping centers; we were noted as an attractive investment due to our anticipated growth rates over the next few years. Analysts at Barron’s also mentioned the continued strength of our leasing activity, and shared that rent growth, re-leasing spreads, and redevelopments will play an important role in our growth and momentum going forward. Citi’s equity research team toured some of our Los Angeles and San Francisco centers and praised Kimco’s solid fundamentals and assets.
Famous stock pundit Jim Cramer, of CNBC, seemed bullish on REIT stocks, and spoke with Flynn about the strength of the company and how new leases signed were “almost 30 percent higher than the previous rent that was being paid.” He noted that our stock rose 21 percent for the year, and we offered a solid dividend to investors.
Signing on the dotted line
Finally, we come to the lifeblood of our industry – tenants. In Q3, many retailers began calling a Kimco shopping center home. Starbucks and Zoe’s Kitchen opened their doors in Maryland’s Timonium Square Shopping Center, and Party City and Japanese retailer Daiso opened in Kimco’s Silicon Valley shopping center, Fremont Hub. In Pompano Beach, Florida, HomeGoods and Ulta Beauty will split the space once occupied by Sports Authority.
There’s another trend happening, too: Kimco is courting food and entertainment retailers for its shopping centers due to the increased demand. A prime example would be Suburban Square, in the outskirts of Philadelphia. With a new parking deck on the way, food retailers are expanding their locations, and a mix of international, national, and local retailers are being added to the center.
Grocers are a key component to our centers and the communities we serve. David Domb’s thorough byline on trends in the grocery industry was published in ICSC’s Retail Property Insights magazine, and Weinkranz spoke to Long Island Business News to discuss changes in the grocery industry and how they are affecting Kimco.
We’ll see you in January for the highlights from the fourth quarter. Enjoy the cool fall and chilly winter weather!