Wilder Cos. Nabs 412 KSF Retail Management Contract for Two Properties

The Wilder Cos. has just added 412,000 square feet of shopping-center responsibilities to its plate. The retail real estate services firm won a contract to spearhead leasing and management at Suburban Philadelphia's The Shops at Valley Square, and another assignment to provide the same services at Somerset Square, located just outside of Hartford, Conn.

By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor

The Shops at Valley Square

The Wilder Cos. has just added 412,000 square feet of shopping-center responsibilities to its plate. The retail real estate services firm won a contract to spearhead leasing and management at Suburban Philadelphia’s The Shops at Valley Square, and another assignment to provide the same services at Somerset Square, located just outside of Hartford, Conn.

Location is always key in real estate and both assets are sited in affluent areas. Located in Warrington, in Pennsylvania’s sought-after Bucks County, Valley Square is a 300,000-square-foot, Main Street-style specialty center located within a 140-acre mixed-use destination. Occupants include such popular national names as Banana Republic and Jos. A. Bank. And in addition, to its retail offerings, the property features 100,000 square feet of premier office space.

Somerset Square sits in the coveted Hartford suburb of Glastonbury, providing 112,000 square feet of retail space. The tenant roster includes the likes of grocery anchor Stop and Shop, as well as Barnes & Noble.

Both Philadelphia and Hartford are outperforming the national retail market, with respective vacancy rates of 9.7 percent and 8.4 percent, according to a fourth quarter report by commercial real estate services firm Colliers International. The national retail market closed the year with an average vacancy rate of 10.3 percent.

The retail sector is slated to have a strong 2012, according to a February report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Services Inc. Despite setbacks to the U.S. economy in the second half of last year, retail has seen an increase in net absorption for nine consecutive quarters, and the firm sees a 9.2 percent vacancy rate for the sector by the end of 2012.

“The retail sector’s strong performance defied pundits’ expectations,” Hessam Nadji, managing director of research and advisory services for M&M, said. “Retail assets overcame a mid-year plunge, as well as a slide in consumer confidence and a modest contraction in per-capita disposable income. Ultimately, core retail sales increased 6.5 percent by year’s end, with holiday sales growing by 3.8 percent over 2010. Private-sector hiring totaled 1.8 million in 2011, with the addition of 466,000 jobs in the fourth quarter.”