PHILADELPHIA, June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, PREIT enthusiastically celebrates its suburban shopping mall reopening timeline and highlights meaningful results in its opened portfolio. In the path toward restoring full operations, PREIT has prioritized creating a safe environment for its customers. In addition to adhering to government and CDC operating standards, PREIT makes complimentary masks available for all customers upon entering. PREIT is particularly pleased that upon reopening, their properties will provide employment for over 30,000 employees while contributing over $60,000,000 annually of real estate tax revenue in their communities in addition to millions of dollars in sales tax revenue. As a key economic engine these funds will support critical municipal services, schools and communities.
PROPERTY STATUS AND RESULTS
At their reopened properties PREIT is experiencing meaningful results and witnessing pent-up consumer demand as more retailers open at their properties. Today, the average non-anchor occupancy in their opened portfolio is over 85% and many tenants are reporting sales that are exceeding projections. Robust demand is being reported throughout the portfolio and tenants are eager to open to meet that demand, particularly at PREIT’S market-dominant properties. Capital City Mall, Harrisburg’s top retail destination and Dartmouth Mall, in the Providence, R.I. market, achieved over 85% occupancy in the first week of opening. Traffic at Patrick Henry Mall is up to 99% of prior year average weekly traffic. At Woodland Mall, traffic is up 69% week over week. Restaurants at Springfield Town Center are frequently reaching capacity with reduced occupancy restrictions. On the anecdotal side, a teen-oriented specialty retailer reports beating prior year sales every week since opening at Jacksonville Mall and a Fast Fashion retailer at Magnolia Mall is handily beating sales goals, prior year sales and budget.
PREIT now has ongoing operations at all of its properties through a combination of new operating initiatives including expanded al fresco dining, Mall2Go contactless pick up as well as fully operational properties. With opening dates set for suburban Philadelphia properties, it is expected that the portfolio will be fully operational before the end of the month with the exception of Fashion District which is expected to open before the 4th of July.
CLEANLINESS AND SAFETY
To ensure the safety of customers and employees, PREIT is engaged in a rigorous pre-opening protocol which includes cleaning, sanitizing, flushing water systems and increasing fresh air exchanges in all HVAC systems. Upon opening, PREIT and its service providers have established a stringent cleaning and sanitizing schedule, particularly in high-touch areas. Contracted housekeeping, maintenance and security staff will follow CDC and state health guidelines and require the use of masks and gloves when working at all properties. PREIT will make available masks for all customers and will provide safety recommendations for shoppers and tenants. Detailed plans and anticipated property opening dates can be found here.
JOBS, CONVENIENCE AND RETAILER SUPPORT
The retail ecosystem is critical to community vitality. PREIT has taken a number of actions to promote the livelihood of our stakeholders.
Jobs – To facilitate the re-hiring process for our tenants and stimulate local job growth, a job portal has been created to collect contact information from interested candidates.
Convenience – For the convenience of customers who wish to shop with their favorite merchants from a safe distance, designated parking stalls are available for our Mall2Go contactless customers.
Retailer Support – PREIT has launched a Shop Local website to support the ecommerce platforms of all local and regional tenants in its portfolio.
“We are extremely encouraged by the results from recent openings and thrilled to be on the path toward full re-opening,” said Joseph F. Coradino, CEO of PREIT. “As we anticipated, beginning in 2012 when we began to realign our portfolio to focus on our best properties, we are now positioned for the evolving retail landscape in which these assets thrive. We are proud to have led this trend by creating strong retail ecosystems with a mix of uses that maximize occupancy and traffic.”
PREIT (NYSE:PEI) is a publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns and manages innovative properties at the forefront of shaping consumer experiences through the built environment. PREIT’s robust portfolio of carefully curated retail and lifestyle offerings mixed with destination dining and entertainment experiences are located primarily in densely-populated, high barrier-to-entry markets with tremendous opportunity to create vibrant multi-use destinations. Additional information is available at www.preit.com or on Twitter or LinkedIn.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that can be identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “may” or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements relate to expectations, beliefs, projections, future plans, strategies, anticipated events, trends and other matters that are not historical facts. These forward-looking statements reflect our current views about future events, achievements or results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances that might cause future events, achievements or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In particular, our business might be materially and adversely affected by changes in the retail and real estate industries, including consolidation and store closings, particularly among anchor tenants; current economic conditions, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the steps taken by governmental authorities and other third parties to reduce its spread, and the corresponding effects on tenant business performance, prospects, solvency and leasing decisions; our inability to collect rent due to the bankruptcy or insolvency of tenants or otherwise; our ability to maintain and increase property occupancy, sales and rental rates; increases in operating costs that cannot be passed on to tenants; the effects of online shopping and other uses of technology on our retail tenants; risks related to our development and redevelopment activities, including delays, cost overruns and our inability to reach projected occupancy or rental rates; acts of violence at malls, including our properties, or at other similar spaces, and the potential effect on traffic and sales; our ability to sell properties that we seek to dispose of or our ability to obtain prices we seek; our substantial debt and the liquidation preference of our preferred shares and our high leverage ratio; our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness when it matures, on favorable terms or at all; our ability to raise capital, including through sales of properties or interests in properties and through the issuance of equity or equity-related securities if market conditions are favorable; and potential dilution from any capital raising transactions or other equity issuances.
Additional factors that might cause future events, achievements or results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements include those discussed herein and in our Annual Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 in the section entitled “Item 1A. Risk Factors.” We do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, future events or otherwise.
EVP, Strategy and Communications