Mall Owners Find Silver Lining in Retailer Busts

A spate of retailer bankruptcies this year has left owners of malls and shopping centers scrambling to fill empty stores. But some landlords smell opportunity.

The vast majority of these type of properties are occupied and spare space is in short supply in many parts of the country, according to experts and landlord data. That is boosting the confidence of landlords who believe they can find new tenants and charge them higher rents.

RadioShack was the largest retailer by assets with publicly traded stocks or bonds to file for bankruptcy since 2010. A former Radio Shack store in the Bronx, New York
 Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg News

After grocery chain A&P, filed for bankruptcy in July, for example, Brixmor Property Group Inc. said it bought back three leases in a bankruptcy auction under which the grocer, formally known as Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., was paying an average of $6.59 a square foot. The firm, which owns shopping centers in 38 states, will be able to charge new tenants $20 to $30 a square foot, says Michael Carroll, chief executive.

See entire article in the Wall Street Journal.

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