Simon Property Group provided a peek behind the curtain in a recent earnings call.The world’s largest mall owner saw a slight dip in occupancy in the second quarter compared to last year, but asking rents saw a nice bounce over the same time period. More importantly, the property behemoth offered up some information on the types of tenants they are on the lookout for.
Similar to the investing world in which investors wait with bated breath to hear what the next move up the sleeve of Warren Buffett is, property owners and landlords would be wise to be mindful of Simon’s future plans. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, there are two types of tenants that Simon is on the lookout for: restaurants and online retailers.
On the restaurant side, Simon executives revealed that the company has added 200 restaurants to rent rolls over the past five years - and it’s far from finished.
“The restaurant demand is great,” shared CEO David Simon.
“We are continuing to very much focus on restaurants throughout the portfolio,” added President and COO Richard Sokolov.
The focus on restaurants ties in with a problem that is faced by landlords and property owners across the nation. What do we do with all this space that’s been vacated by traditional retailers? Enter restaurants, which still manage to draw people from their homes. Numerous malls have even taken the step of splitting up space to accommodate several restaurants in space that was previously occupied by department stores.
Simon is also on the lookout for online retailers that are looking to expand their physical presence. The theory for the retailers is that having a brick-and-mortar presence will actually help to increase online sales, while landlords and owners benefit from the boost in foot traffic from curious customers that want to physically visit the internet brands they know and love. That scenario creates a win-win situation, and Simon is all over it.
“We’re working with, frankly, scores of them. It’s certainly going to be a source of growth for us going forward in the years ahead,” Sokolov said.
The company also touched on some of its larger expansion and redevelopment projects in the pipeline, including Jersey Gardens in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise, Florida.
“We’re very comfortable and confident, even though retail sales have been anemic this year … I don’t think we are backing off at all our redevelopment and expansion portfolio,” shared Simon.