Presence in 30 states
As mentioned earlier in this series, CBL & Associates Properties (CBL) owns, develops, acquires, leases, manages, and operates regional shopping malls, open-air centers, outlet centers, associated centers, community centers, and office properties. As of fiscal 2014, CBL had wide geographic coverage, with properties located in 27 states, primarily in the southeastern and midwestern United States. In the first half of 2015, CBL expanded to 30 states, with 147 properties totaling over 83 million square feet.
Presence in lucrative markets
The company’s malls are primarily located in middle markets and generally have strong competitive positions as they are the only, or the dominant, regional malls in their respective trade areas. According to the company, the average distance between a CBL mall and the nearest major competition is around 25 miles. Such underserved markets provide an attractive growth opportunity for retailers present in the company’s mall. Most of the company’s malls are in markets with stable and growing populations and strong and diversified employment bases in government, healthcare, and higher education.
Other retail mall operators such as Simon Property Group (SPG), General Growth Properties (GGP), and Macerich (MAC) also strive for presence in lucrative markets. CBL (CBL) makes up 0.4% of the SPDR Dow Jones REIT ETF (RWR).
Top five markets
Based on percentage of total revenues, the company’s top five markets in 2014 were as follows:
- St. Louis, Missouri – 7.8%
- Chattanooga, Tennessee – 3.9%
- Madison, Wisconsin – 3.3%
- Lexington, Kentucky – 2.8%
- Winston-Salem, North Carolina – 2.5%
In the next part of this series, we’ll discuss CBL’s top tenants.