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CBL Properties Closes Statesboro Crossing Sale, Lowers Debt

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Recently, CBL Properties CBL sold a community center in Statesboro, GA — Statesboro Crossing — for $21.5 million in cash. The move has helped the company improve its financial position.  

Particularly, with proceeds generated from the sale, the company retired with $10.7-million loan secured by the asset. Further, CBL Properties lowered outstanding balances on its lines of credit. Statesboro Crossing was owned in a 50/50 joint venture and CBL Properties received full proceeds from the sale. The center is anchored by T.J. Maxx, which is part of the TJX Companies TJX, Hobby Lobby, Books-A-Million, Petco, Hibbett Sports HIBB and Rack Room Shoes.

Notably, CBL Properties has been aggressively disposing its properties and completed more than $60 million in such activities this year. Moreover, these measures have provided the dry powder for the company’s redevelopment efforts which has become essential in the wake of the retail apocalypse.

In fact, the e-commerce boom has been grabbing market share from brick-and-mortar stores, forcing retailers to reconsider their footprint and eventually opt for store closures, and if unable to cope with competition, then file for bankruptcies. Also, amid these, tenants are demanding substantial lease concessions, which retail landlords are finding unjustified. This has become a huge challenge for retail landlords including CBL Properties, Taubman Centers, Inc. TCO and others.

Nevertheless, retail landlords are making diligent efforts to boost productivity of retail assets by trying to grab attention from new and productive tenants, and disposing the non-productive ones. Also, with limited retail supply, refurbishment of existing properties has been gaining traction.

Retail REITs are now avoiding dependence on apparel and accessories, and rather expanding their dining options, opening movie theaters and fitness centers, as well as offering recreational facilities, in particular. Such efforts are expected to bring the mojo back in the sector with the improvement in economy and job market, high consumer confidence and consumption levels.

CBL Properties currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company’s shares have underperformed the industry over the past six months, declining 5.3% against the industry’s rally of 13.1%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.



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