Forest City Wins Gigs

The firm has just added nearly 2.2 million square feet to its portfolio.

May 25, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

Forest City Enterprises Inc.’s third-party leasing and management portfolio just got a lot bigger. The company recently won two contracts to oversee leasing and management activities at two different shopping centers on the West Coast encompassing a total of nearly 2.2 million square feet.

Forest City is now charged with the responsibility of adding names to the tenant roster at Town Square Las Vegas, a mixed-use property developed by Turnberry Associates and Centra Properties on 117 acres along Las Vegas Blvd. Town Square made its debut in 2007, offering approximately 1.2 million square feet of shopping, dining and entertainment retail space, as well as 300,000 square feet of office space in an open-air environment of 22 buildings.

Leasing and management of The Shops at Tanforan in San Bruno, Calif., has also come under Forest City’s purview. A nearly 1 million square-foot regional mall less than 15 miles south of San Francisco, the property first opened as a shopping center in 1971. A comprehensive $140 million redevelopment in 2005 followed by an additional expansion three years later resulted in the center’s emergence as a premier retail destination.

As a rule, Forest City does not publicly discuss occupancy levels at any of its own properties or the ones it manages for other owners. However, the company believes that a general improvement in the retail market bodes well for most properties. “We certainly have seen retail coming back in our own portfolio,” Jeff Linton, vice president of corporate communication with Forest City, told CPE. “As long as the economy continues to recover and employment and consumer confidence improve, we think the retail environment will continue to improve.”

Not that Linton is implying there aren’t challenges in retail. “Some markets were hit harder by the recession and have a longer way to come back, and the West Coast is one of those markets, generally speaking.”

Considering that the current retail vacancy rate in Las Vegas is 11.4 percent, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, Sin City may present more of a challenge than the San Francisco area, where the vacancy rate is 3.9 percent. Regardless, Forest City anticipates increased success for both Town Square and Tanforan. “We believe that the positive trends we see in our own portfolio would carry over to these properties as well.”