Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

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

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Page 184 of 334

ECHO REALTY 180 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 E CHO Realty has been extremely ac- tive over the past four years. Grow- ing from a Pennsylvania-based family-owned real estate company that primarily developed and owned gro- cery-anchored centers with a single flag anchor, the company has expanded throughout the Mid-Atlantic and South- east while diversifying the types of prop- erties it acquires and develops. "About four years ago, we started the process of diversifying our asset base," says CEO Tom Karet. "Our core product then was a group of Giant Eagle-anchored centers in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Our goal with diversification was to stay with- in the quality grocery segment of retail in a specific way — to stay disciplined and strategic in our growth." Four years ago, the Pittsburgh-based company had 175 properties in Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Today, the company has 227 properties in nine states, mostly along the East Coast. The company — one of the largest owners of grocery-anchored properties on the East Coast and Midwest — is active in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mary- land, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Over the past three years, the company has acquired, developed and/or redeveloped 28 shopping centers. That number includes nine Harris Teeter-an- chored centers, five Publix-anchored cen- ters, two Safeway-anchored centers and one center each anchored by Acme and Giant. The company also completed four centers anchored by Giant Eagle. All told, the company has invested more than $700 million in acquisitions and new develop- ment over the past three years. TARGETED ACQUISITIONS While ECHO has expanded its geo- graphic presence, the company hasn't lost sight of what made it successful in the first place — good locations with strong anchors. In its acquisitions process for either new developments or existing centers, ECHO focuses on well located centers with best-in-class grocers in mar- kets that it selects for their specific demo- graphics. The demographics ECHO seeks are based on education levels as well as in- come, with more emphasis on the former. "We will look at up to 50 grocery-an- chored centers in our targeted markets Disciplined Growth ECHO Realty has grown geographically and by the types of centers it owns and develops over the past few years. Randall Shearin ECHO Realty owns Purcellville Gateway, an 88,529-square-foot center anchored by Harris Teeter in Virginia's affluent Loudoun County.

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