Shoppers returned to seeking out brick-and-mortar experiences last year. For Levin Management Corp., that dynamic also meant the return of retail tenants.
In 2021, LMC said it closed 1.2 million square feet in new leases, renewals and extensions, and license agreements.
Its retail-focused leasing and management portfolio produced more than twice the number of store openings in 2021 – 59 – than it did in 2020, and 33% more than 2019.
“Levin’s sustained transactional activity reflects the continued viability and resilience of brick-and-mortar retail,” said LMC Chief Executive Officer Matthew Harding. “Confidence among retail tenants drove strong leasing velocity through 2021 and shows no sign of abating in the new year.”
Some of Levin’s biggest retail lease deals included a 20,400-square-foot agreement with The Goodwill Store at Hamilton Plaza, a 10,000-square-foot lease with Ulta Beauty at St. Georges Crossing and a 9,600-square-foot transaction with LL Flooring at Fairground Plaza.
“National brands and franchisees will continue to capitalize on opportunities to secure exceptionally good real estate at good pricing,” Harding said. “We also are seeing movement among independently owned retailers. This activity is happening at a steady pace, fueled by current market conditions.”
As leasing momentum surged in 2021 for LMC, the firm also marked an uptick in construction, and an expansion of its leasing and management portfolio.
Levin Management Corp. said it completed approximately 200,000 square feet of buildouts last year.
“More leasing means more fit-out work, especially with many national tenants mandating turnkey space delivery,” Harding said. Adding that with space available amid the effects of the pandemic, some owners are looking to prep units before they even hit the market, in a move to attract tenants.
To support its growth – which included taking on the largest total number of properties in one assignment the firm has committed to in its history, a nine-property, 840,000-square-foot management assignment – LMC said it recorded a number of promotions and new hires across its leasing, property management and corporate admin teams.
Today, the company maintains a 120-property, 16 million-square-foot leasing and management portfolio. inclusive of grocery-anchored shopping centers, other retail properties, industrial and office assets. Looking ahead for 2022, LMC said it has 380,000 square feet currently underway or in the near-term pipeline.