Open-air centers saw more revenue in 2013, according to IREM.

CHICAGO—The median income for open shopping centers across the US got quite a boost in 2013, according to a new retail study by the Institute of Real Estate Management. Based on average actual occupancy, the median income increased to $17.18-per-square-foot from $16.18 in 2012. At the same time, operating costs for the centers decreased, to $5.07-per-square-foot from $5.20 in 2012.

The Chicago-based IREM just published these stats in its 2014 edition of the Income/Expense Analysis®: Shopping Centers. Researchers from the institute have been conducting the annual study since 1991. They analyze the previous year’s operating data for 361 open shopping centers throughout the US.

The researchers found a wide variety among open centers in the nation’s several regions. Median income ranged from $14.28- to $23.43-per-square-foot versus a range of from $14.10- to $22.74-per-square-foot in 2012. The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions had the highest income per square foot at $23.43. And the Southeast had the lowest median operating cost at $3.96-per-square-foot, whereas the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions had the highest at $6.71-per-square-foot, respectively.

Major expenses in the past year were quite similar to those for 2012, according to IREM. Insurance and taxes in 2013, for example, accounted nationally for 43.4% of the typical open center’s total operating costs. And contracted services – such as landscaping, security and trash removal – accounted for 14.4% percent. Maintenance and utilities accounted for 9.3% and 8.5%, respectively.

The national occupancy level for these centers in 2013 was 93%, up from 92% from the prior year.