Hines Grows Retail Expertise with New Group

Saying it wants to expand the firm’s retail depth and expertise, Hines has formed a Retail Resources Group and named a managing director.
McKeehan Kenton

Kenton McKeehan

By Gail Kalinoski, Contributing Editor

Saying it wants to expand the firm’s retail depth and expertise, Hines has formed a Retail Resources Group and named Managing Director Kenton McKeehan to head it up.

The new group will assist all company-wide retail development, acquisition and redevelopment efforts and comes at a time when the Houston-based privately owned international real estate firm has become one of the most active buyers of retail power centers around the world.

“As we continue to pursue our mission of being the best real estate investor, partner and manager in the world, it is important to expand our retail depth and expertise,” Jeff Hines, president & CEO, said in a news release. “Having a centralized resource will help Hines be more efficient in our communication with global retailers and also help implement a best-practices approach relative to retail.”

Hines has been responsible for the development, acquisition and management of more than 23.6 million square feet of retail space around the world. It has developed the Gallerias in Houston and Dallas, the largest shopping complex in Catalonia, Spain, and the first international brand outlet center mall in Russia. The firm has also acquired upscale malls, lifestyle centers, power centers and grocery-anchored centers.

“Hines’ investment management strategy includes significant positions in many parts of the retail sector,” McKeehan said in a news release. “With our past history and successful execution, we are uniquely qualified to evaluate, acquire and add value to retail assets in all categories in the U.S. and internationally.”

While Hines has always had a strong retail portfolio, in recent years it has also been purchasing retail power centers and investing in some of the largest mixed-use urban projects in the world, including the $950 million, 10-acre CityCenterDC located in downtown Washington, D.C. Work started on the project in 2011. It includes more than 260,000 square feet of retail space, plus another 70,000 square feet of retail that is being built as part of a Conrad luxury hotel deal. CityCenterDC also includes 520,000 square feet of office space, 458 rental apartments and more than 200 condominiums. Hines and its development partner, Qatari Diar, recently unveiled a list of retailers and high-end restaurants for the complex.

Last year, Hines invested in The Rim, San Antonio, Texas’ largest outdoor retail center. The Hines Global REIT acquired nearly 800,000 square feet of The Rim and rights to about 260,000 square feet that was under construction.

Overseas investments have included the Porta Nuovo project in Milan, Italy, that has 28 buildings, totaling more than 2.6 million square feet. One of the initial development investors, Hines and the others in the group late last month sold the remaining interest to Qatar Investment Authority. Hines Italian investment management firm, Hines Italia SGR, will continue to manage the investment funds which own Porto Nuovo, according to a Hines release.