Regency Ushers Northgate at Juanita Tate

Zacks

Regency Centers Corporation (REG) declared the anchor opening at its new development – Juanita Tate Marketplace – in South Los Angeles. The property’s anchor tenant , Northgate Gonzalez Market, will occupy 42,000 square foot space in this daily needs center. This leading Hispanic grocer will open its unit on Apr 14.

Juanita Tate Marketplace, positioned at the southwest corner of the intersection of Slauson and Central Avenues, has been built on one of the prime plots in the South Los Angeles area. The construction, which commenced in May 2013, was started by Regency in partnership with Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles (:CCSCLA). Notably, per the partnership terms, Regency will lease a 1,000 square foot space to CCSCLA at Juanita Tate Marketplace for an adult educational training center for the community.

Juanita Tate Marketplace has been experiencing huge demand for retail space, owing to its location in a strong demographic area. Apart from Northgate Gonzalez Market and CCSCLA, the center will boast presence of some industry leading retailers such as CVS Caremark Corporation (CVS), Little Caesars, Fatburger and Starbucks Corporation (SBUX).

This deal will boost Regency’s portfolio of premier shopping centers. Moreover, the addition of quality tenants ensures higher occupancy and drives top line growth. As a matter of fact, the company has been well on track to spread its footprint in high-income and high-barrier markets through the restructuring of its overall portfolio.

In relation to this, last month, Regency completed the buyout of 80% stake in a shopping center portfolio in Fairfield, CT for $150 million. Also, in February, the company disclosed the acquisition of a neighborhood shopping center — Shops at Mira Vista — in Austin, TX. The addition of such high quality assets bodes well for the company’s long-term growth.

Regency is slated to release its first-quarter 2014 results on May 7, after the closing bell. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for funds from operations (:FFO) for the quarter is pegged at 65 cents, representing year-over-year growth of 1.66%.

Regency currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the retail REIT industry is Simon Property Group Inc. (SPG) having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Note: FFO, a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs, is obtained after adding depreciation and amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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