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GROCERS ON THE GO

Dallas-Ft. Worth
GROCERS ON THE GO
John Delatour
We sat down with Regency Centers managing director John Delatour last week at his office off Central Expressway; he tells us plenty is going on in retail, just not the way we imagined. (Regency Centers is the largest owner of grocery-anchored shopping centers in the country with 53M SF and about 400 shopping centers.) John says with the depressed economy, Regency is focusing on infill development. “Housing stopped in the suburbs, and no one in interested in building anything. I think that will last another two to three years,” he tells us. “Things have bottomed out, but leasing activity has been pretty good, although we are still losing tenants that are simply having a hard time holding on.” He’s not a pessimist, though, noting that he thinks things will improve in 2011. It’s just going to be slow, he says.
Trophy Club Plaza Shopping Center
Quick, gather your kids around the computer and tell them this is what a brick-and-mortar video rental store looks like. John says the Blockbuster bankruptcy  will be a challenge for many centers. Regency is the landlord for 59 Blockbuster locations (like the one pictured in Trophy Club Plaza Shopping Center). “Lots of the mom and pop stores have shaken out. Receivables skyrocketed in spring ’09, and the last year and a half has been weeding those folks out. We’ve been writing off what we have to write off because you can’t squeeze money out of people who don’t have it,” he says. One opportunity that John’s seeing in retail is the redevelopment of under-utilized land— like old warehouse spaces—in valuable locations. He says Kroger is developing a project like that in an old Elliott’s Hardware on Maple, and the location makes sense with the nearby hospital. To hear from John first hand, come to our Oct. 26(that's one week from today) Retail Summit at the Westin Galleria Dallas. Save your seat by signing up now!