COLUMBUS, OH-However you define it, the lifestyle center isn’t just an up-and-coming concept anymore, if Glimcher Realty Trust’s plans for its two mall properties in the Dayton, OH, area are any indication. Instead, lifestyle centers are now standard in the retail world, and Glimcher intends to capitalize on their popularity by retrofitting Fairfield Commons in suburban Beavercreek, OH, and the Dayton Mall in Dayton to include lifestyle elements.

“We considered building a third center in the market,” Michael P. Glimcher, president of the REIT, tells GSR. “But we asked ourselves, why not add to what’s already strong? Our two properties in the Dayton area are already number one and two in the market, so we decided to build on that — literally.”

At Fairfield Commons, Glimcher plans to add about 50,000 sf of space in the form of a new row of open-air shops erected against one of the center’s wall, giving the new stores a southern exposure. At the Dayton Mall, the addition will be more of a “village setting,” according to Michael Glimcher: about 100,000 sf of freestanding retail space clustered together in what’s now surface parking for the mall. If all goes according to plan, the two additions will be complete in late 2005 or early 2006.

These two properties currently represent over $450 million of sales in this southwestern Ohio market. The lifestyle expansion project will include retailers as well as restaurants, all of which are at various stages of lease negotiations, according to Michael Glimcher, who declined to give further specifics. However, he did tell GSR that targeted retailers for the expansion include Pottery Barn, Ann Taylor Loft, Chico’s, J. Jill, Coldwater Creek, Jared Jewelers, H&M, Apple, Organized Living, Borders and Talbots; and restaurants may include Bravo!, P.F. Chang’s, Brinkers and Mitchell’s Fish Market.

Word of the REIT’s plans came not long after it reported its third quarter 2004 numbers. In Q304, Glimcher’s FFO increased 4.9% to $21.7 million, compared to $20.7 million in Q303. FFO per share for the third quarter of this year was $0.55, compared to $0.54 in the third quarter of 2003. Net income increased to $20.3 million in the third quarter of 2004, compared to $3.0 million in the third quarter of 2003. Per share, net income increased to $0.56 in the most recent quarter, up from $0.08 in the third quarter of 2003.

The REIT also reported that average retail sales for mall stores increased 7.0% to $320 per sf for the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2004, compared to $299 per sf at Sept. 30, 2003. Comparable mall store sales increased 1.0% for the 12 months ending September 30, 2004 from the same period in 2003. Currently, Glimcher owns 42 properties in 19 states totaling about 24.5 million sf.

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