Real estate firm Levin says new retail business set record

Commercial real estate services firm Levin Management Corp. announced a record period for new business this year.

The increase of 10 retail assignments totaling 1.5 million square feet comes as the North Plainfield company marks 65 years.

Its leasing and management portfolio is now at 100 properties totaling 14 million square feet.

The firm’s new agencies — on behalf of new and repeat clients — reflect heightened demand for LMC’s comprehensive third-party commercial real estate services, according to President Matthew K. Harding.

“The retail and retail real estate landscapes are changing, illustrated by stepped-up competition, increased transactional complexity and the ongoing transformation of shopping center tenant mixes,” Harding said. “Our clients benefit from using a company that provides a full scope of services to strengthen the value of their assets. As this business becomes more complicated, they are turning to experienced providers — like us — that handle management, construction, leasing and marketing, day in and day out.”

Nine of the new properties are in New Jersey, and one is in Connecticut. They include neighborhood, community and power shopping centers, and an open-air outlet center.

LMC is also having its healthiest leasing volume in recent years, portfolio-wide. The firm’s properties are concentrated in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.

“At a time when digital technology has transformed our industry, this year is proof-positive that traditional ‘bricks-and-mortar’ retail remains resilient,” Harding said. “Shopping centers are transitioning from places that offer goods and services to sources of entertainment, recreation and community engagement. Meanwhile, traditional retailers are finding new ways to serve and attract customers.”

This has translated into increased activity among entertainment concepts, restaurants, personal services and fitness brands — with multiple leases in each sector throughout the LMC portfolio in 2017.

Grocery tenants have also contributed to an active year, with expansions and store renovations by longtime regional brands, notable new entrants and ongoing activity among specialty and ethnic grocers.

But, tenant prospects are smaller than in the past, so Harding warns against complacency.

“Property owners must stay on top of managing their assets and engaging tenants,” he said. “Forward-thinking owners are laser-focused on projects that enhance curb appeal and energy efficiency, and are working harder than ever before to help their retailers succeed. The more their tenants thrive, the better off their properties will be.”