Simon Starts Parkside Project

Zacks

Simon Property Group Inc (SPG), a real estate investment trust (:REIT), has recently commenced construction of Parkside – the next phase of Firewheel Town Center, a mixed-use development in Garland, Texas.

Parkside follows the existing apartment and townhome project at the Center and will include 281 apartment units. This phase is expected to be completed by December 2013, with occupancy starting in September. Columbus Realty Partners Ltd. is the lead developer while Lincoln Property Group will oversee the property's leasing and management of the Center.

Firewheel Town Center is a street-style shopping, dining and entertainment center. This latest addition to the project is likely to benefit Simon Property to capitalize on the continuous growth opportunities in the Garland market

Earlier in the second quarter 2012, Simon Property started construction work on St. Louis Premium Outlet in Chesterfield, Missouri. The company owns a 60% ownership stake in this joint venture project.

The first phase of the project would include 85 stores totaling 350,000 square feet and is expected to open in the fall of 2013. Simon Property currently has an aggregate of 25 redevelopment and expansion projects in the U.S. and two properties in Japan.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, Simon Property is engaged in acquiring, owning and leasing a diverse portfolio of shopping malls. The geographic and product diversity of the company insulates it from market volatility to a great extent and provides a steady source of income. Furthermore, the company’s international presence confers a more sustainable long-term growth story than its domestically focused peers.

Simon Property currently retains a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term Buy rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock. One of its competitors, The Macerich Company (MAC) holds a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short term Hold rating.

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