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Simon Transforms Phipps Plaza, Reveals Mixed-Use Development

Zacks Equity Research

Simon Property Group, Inc. SPG is putting in every effort to enhance the value of its assets. Most recently, the company announced the premier mixed-use development at Atlanta's Phipps Plaza. The transformative redevelopment is marked by the arrival of a new Nobu Hotel and Nobu Atlanta Restaurant. Notably, Nobu Hotels is a notable name among global luxury brands.

Other features of this portfolio revamp plan include a 90,000-square-foot Life Time Athletic healthy living and entertainment destination, as well as a 12-story Class A office building with a three-story lower level parking garage. These will be added to Phipps Plaza’s current footprint. The construction work is slated to commence in 2018, while the opening will take place in phases, starting in spring 2020.

Positioned at the center of the Buckhead district and conveniently connected to the Midtown and Downtown Atlanta regions, Phipps Plaza will continue to be anchored by Nordstrom Inc. JWN and Saks Fifth Avenue stores.

At a time when mall traffic has been dwindling amid a rapid change in shopping patterns, with online shopping taking precedence over in-store purchase, these transformative efforts of Simon at Phipps Plaza are likely to boost the overall footfall.

In fact, in recent years Simon Property has already made efforts to transform Phipps Plaza by adding residential units, hospitality components, as well as food and dining options. This included adding The AC Hotel Atlanta Buckhead, with 166 guest rooms and suites, as well as The Domain comprising 319 mid-rise, urban-style luxury residences.

Amid the ongoing changes in consumer behavior, retail REITs are avoiding heavy dependence on apparel and accessories, and transforming their boring shopping hubs into swanky entertainment zones. These companies are expanding dining options, opening up movie theaters and offering recreational facilities. Eventually, such measures are likely to push up traffic.

Moreover, the shift toward mixed-use development by Simon Property for Phipps Plaza is a strategic fit. In fact, mixed-use developments too have gained popularity for solid neighborhood character, greater housing variety and density.

Such developments lower the distance between housing, workplaces, retail businesses, and other amenities and destinations. Hence, these developments enable companies to grab the attention of people who prefer to live, work and play in the same area — a trend that drove development in several other cities in the United States. In recent years, retail REITs like Regency Centers Corp. REG and Federal Realty Investment Trust FRT also directed their investments toward such projects.

Simon Property currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

However, the stock has declined 3.0% in a month’s time, underperforming 0.3% growth recorded by the industry it belongs to.

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