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PHILADELPHIA-During second quarter, the same store occupancy rate in theretail portfolio of locally based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trustdropped from 96% to 94.7%, primarily because of the closing of an Ames storeat its Dartmouth (MA) mall. PREIT has a non-binding letter of agreement to sell thepad site that includes the former Ames to the May Co., which plans a140,000-sf Filene’s Department Store.

Occupancy at PREIT’s power centers and enclosed malls was 97.7% and 87.8%,respectively, as of June 30. Wal-Mart opened a 114,000-sf store at NortheastTower Center in Philadelphia during second quarter, bringing that propertyto 100% occupancy.

Rental rates at the company’s properties are rising. During second quarter,PREIT executed 29 leases encompassing 79,454 sf at an average of $24.37 persf. New leases for previously leased space accounted for eight transactionstotaling 20,062 sf at an average rent of $31.77 per sf, which is$3.87-per-sf higher than the previous average.

In addition, 11 tenants renewed leases encompassing a total of 35,062 sf atan average renewal rate of $20.02 per sf, an increase of $5-per-sf over theaverage rental rate when the previous leases expired. Leases for 10 formerlyvacant spaces totaling 24,388 sf were executed in second quarter for anaverage rent of $24.53 per sf.

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