DLC Acquires Skytop Pavilion in Cincinnati, Has $700M to Spend this Year

With more than $700 million in capital in its coffers to spend, privately-held retail real estate company DLC Management Corp. has just made its first purchase of the year, acquiring Skytop Pavilion, a grocery-anchored shopping center in Cincinnati. DLC president & CEO Adam Ifshin told CPN today he could not release the price or the name of the institutional seller because of a confidentiality agreement. DLC, based in Tarrytown, N.Y., acquired the shopping center after three other buyers couldn’t complete the deal. Ifshin said DLC initially passed on the deal because the seller wouldn’t meet its price. “They finally came around and said ‘we need someone we know who will close this deal,” he said. Bigg’s Supermarket, a division of Supervalu, anchors the 133,600-square-foot center and leases more than half the space. Skytop Pavilion is the only grocery-anchored shopping center in the immediate area which has a three-mile radius population of over 48,000 and an average household income higher than $84,000, according to DLC. Daniel Taub, executive vice president & COO, said that Bigg’s has a long-term lease and strong sales performance, two things that attracted DLC to the shopping center. He also noted that Bigg’s recently spent several million dollars renovating the store. Ifshin said DLC, which leases a portfolio of 96 shopping centers with more than 16.5 million square feet in 25 states, now more than ever is focusing on “bread and butter” acquisitions. He said of the 31 acquisitions made in 18 months, 27 of them were grocery-anchored centers. Grocery chains like Krogers, Food Lion, Giant, ShopRite and Price Chopper are among the company’s biggest clients. Ifshin said DLC focuses on other value-oriented retailers like the TJX Cos., parent of TJMaxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and AJWright; Ross Stores; and dollar stores such as Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar General. Other companies they have been signing leasing deals with included value-oriented fitness centers including Planet Fitness and LA Fitness, which tend to be smaller and charge less than other larger gyms, he said. “A lot of our focus–and part of that has to do with the demographics we own in particular–is all about value and necessity retail,” Ifshin said. “We’re actually doing OK because we’re not overly exposed to fashion and women’s apparel.” Ifshin said DLC is planning to invest more this year in construction loan debt and permanent loan distressed debt secured by retail assets. “We’ve been doing it all along. There wasn’t any of it around to do in the last few years,” he said. “This year we may do as many debt deals as equity deals. It’s all about whether or not there’s an opportunity.” Noting that the “silly money is out of the market” now, Ifshin said prices are starting to drop. “The Australians and the TIC guys are out of the market,” he noted. “That has created some price realizations.” Referring to the story by Kris Hudson in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal about stalled or unleased lifestyle malls, Ifshin said he wasn’t surprised and that his company had been approached but passed on those kind of projects as well as large, mixed-use developments. “We’ve been saying for years that a tremendous number of these lifestyle deals that were getting done made no sense. They were not viable. There were not enough demographics to support them,” Ifshin said.