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3 Ways to Make Retail More Profitable

3 Ways to Make Retail More Profitable
JLL's retail group is now running two Baltimore shopping centers for two different New York-based owners. They have disparate financial conditions, but each has room for improvement, says JLL national retail head Greg Maloney.
Greg Maloney
Greg has just been appointed receiver for Thor Equities' 845k SF Eastpoint Mall in East Baltimore, and his group is the new manager for the retail portion of Ashkenazy Acquisitions' Village at Cross Keys. JLL has put a management and leasing team in place for Eastpoint and is assessing the property while stopping the bleeding, Greg says. He cautions that a distressed property doesn't mean it's in bad shape physically but rather just has too much debt or has been losing tenancy. (The building is like an aging athlete, it still has it, it just needs someone to give it a chance.)

Eastpoint Mall, East Baltimore
Next, he says, his group has to let the community know the property is staying put. Greg says Sears and Penny's are doing OK at Eastpoint and plan to remain.

The Village at Cross Keys
The Village at Cross Keys' 81k SF of retail (off I-83 north of the city) needs no word of mouth. JLL became involved through its relationship with Ashkenazy, which just bought the center from GGP. (JLL also manages the investor's Union Station in DC, Faneuil Hall in Boston, Rivercenter Mall in San Antonio, and others.) Jim Rouse developed the property 50 years ago, Greg says, and people like it, know where it is, and know how to access it. He adds that Ashkenazy's M.O. is to invest in upscale shopping centers that have staying power. Mid to upscale tenants (Chico's, Williams-Sonoma, and Talbots) fill 90% of the space. What JLL is looking at is whether mixing up the tenancy can expand reach to a new customer base, which includes 181k SF of office on the same parcel, plus an offsite office park, 146-key Radisson, and 700 residential units.