Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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Page 122 of 358

COVER STORY 118 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 T he regional mall has come back into focus for a new group of investors as many larger owners have begun to concentrate their capital and strengths on stronger assets in key markets. That's causing larger players to sell centers that are further afield from their current investment targets. What is out of focus for larger owners has be- come a strong opportunity for a new set of owners in the industry — those seeing the upside in investing in regional malls in primary and secondary markets that are the main retail hubs of their areas. In 2015, Westfield elected to sell sev- eral of its centers in a portfolio to refo- cus capital on its development pipeline. For industry insiders, the move wasn't surprising, but the industry did a double take when Dallas-based Centennial Real Estate Company was the announced pur- chaser of five of the centers in December for $1.1 billion. No one doubted Centen- nial's ability to execute — the company has sound financial backing from USAA Real Estate and Montgomery Street Partners. Rather, the surprise came from Centenni- al's desire to jump into the super-regional mall business. Until that point, the com- pany was known as an investor/operator of town centers and power centers, with a few regional malls under ownership. Buying five malls from Connecticut to California seemed a big stretch for the company. For Centennial's founder and CEO, Steven Levin, it was the perfect op- portunity to create the company he had always wanted to build. SCB recently met with Levin and Cen- tennial's chief operating officer, Dan Sheridan, at the company's Dallas head- quarters for our cover story this year. Centennial's New Focus With an acquisition from Westfeld, the company is the new kid on the block in the regional mall business. But the company has a history that is rich in retail, and in creating successful centers. Randall Shearin Vancouver Mall in Vancouver, Washington, is exemplary of the portfolio that Centennial Real Estate is building. The 883,000-square-foot center is the dominant retail hub for Southern Washington.

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