Sears has confirmed that Chairman Edward Lampert's ESL Investments won an auction to acquire the company with a $5.2 billion bid and a plan to keep about 400 stores operating. Unsecured creditors who blame Lampert for the retailer's struggles have raised objections to the plan and have requested a public hearing.
Analysts feel confident that REIT stocks will perform well in 2019, with such sectors as retail, data centers and apartments expected to deliver strong numbers. "Companies that can demonstrate growth in the current environment of rising rates and tightening investment deals should thrive," said Alexander Goldfarb with Sandler O'Neill.
Dollar Tree is setting out to renovate at least 1,000 stores of the struggling Family Dollar brand this year in an effort to revive it; however, critics wonder if this will be sufficient. Activist investor Starboard Value is pushing Dollar Tree to sell the retail brand, but some observers doubt that a sale could be profitable.
SITE Centers has sold a 280,000-square-foot shopping center in Prince George's County in Maryland for close to $44 million. Largo Town Center, which was purchased by Finmarc Management, is fully occupied.
The convenience store industry is thriving, said Christopher Constant, president and CEO of Getty Realty, which focuses on that sector. The foodservice element, which includes "everything from made-to-order food to hot and cold beverages," is the fastest-growing segment of the industry, he said.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said the central bank could be patient regarding additional interest-rate increases, depending on the economic outlook, market volatility and rate of inflation, which remains low. Although there are concerns related to the partial government shutdown and slower growth in Europe and China, Evans is confident about the US economy's fundamentals, saying, "I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the year we have a funds rate that's a little bit higher than where we are now."
Mayberry Mall in Mount Airy, N.C., is inching closer to its sale as the final paperwork is drawn up. Owner Kohan Retail Investment Group is waiting for developer and would-be buyer WRS to complete the necessary steps to close on the property.
Namdar Realty Group paid $11 million for Enfield Square Mall in Connecticut. The property, a staple in the community, has seen J.C. Penney, Sears and Macy's leave.
A new mixed-use space is being developed near The Empire Mall in Sioux Falls, N.D. The property will include retail, restaurants and potentially multifamily housing.
Wisconsin-based Shopko Stores has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with plans to close 38 stores, after shuttering at least 45 locations over the past year. Wells Fargo leads a group of lenders that has committed up to $480 million in financing.
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