Shopping for malls
Regency Centers' focus helps it buck the national trend.
With brick-and-mortar stores across the country under stress, Jacksonville-based shopping center developer/operator Regency Centers is banking — cautiously — on its strategy of focusing on retail centers anchored mainly by grocery stores.
In February, it merged with Equity One, making it the largest company in its sector of groceryanchored centers, with 429 properties across the country. The deal also added six properties to Regency’s 16 existing centers in northeast Florida.
“We don’t have our head in the sand,” says Regency CEO Hap Stein, whose parents founded Regency’s predecessor company a half-century ago. “We’re not going to be immune, but we feel very strongly the sky is not going to fall in.”
Regency’s properties are 96% leased, with a tenant base focused on goods and services that shoppers can’t necessarily get online. Its target customers are generally affluent, with an average household income of $105,000.
Besides supermarkets, which continue to attract daily shoppers despite online delivery competition, tenants include restaurants, hair stylists, medical offices and fitness centers.
While some of Regency’s tenants have closed, the company has been able to replace 95%, keeping occupancy high.
“Retailers want to be where other successful retailers are,” says Stein. “We’ve had a track record over the years of working through these disruptions that occur.”
- Headquarters: Jacksonville
- 2016 revenue: $614 million
- Properties: 429 encompassing 57 million square feet
- Largest markets:
Southeast Florida (54 properties)
Southern California (42 properties)
Baltimore/D.C. (35 properties)
Northern California (33 properties)
N.Y. metro (24 properties)
- Five-year stock return: 116.4%
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