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NEW YORK CITY-Last year at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Spring Convention Las Vegas, New Plan Excel officials conducted about 800 meetings, said Glenn Rufrano, the company’s CEO. This year Rufrano said that he expects a similar volume.

“This is a significant opportunity for us to maximize our relationship with national and regional tenants and to further educate ourselves about the changing retail landscape,” Rufrano said during a recent conference call outlining his company’s quarterly financial results.

A bulk of the company’s meetings will be focused around redevelopments, 13 of which New Plan currently has in the pipeline. “Redevelopment has been critical to us in addressing underperforming properties,” Rufrano said.

The firm’s Liberty Plaza, in Randallstown, MD, currently has an occupancy rate of 80%, and New Plan executives will speak with Wal-Mart representatives about adding a 160,000-sf Wal-Mart discount store to the center. They will also meet with other potential tenants to fill some small-shop space at the center.

New Plan officials will meet with retailers in efforts to fill a former, 20,000-sf stand-alone, Kids ‘R’ Us unit with a “soft good junior anchor,” Rufrano said. Additionally, the landlord will speak with Kroger officials about expanding the grocer’s stores in particular centers to their new, 80,000-sf prototype units.

“The ICSC is a focal point for business that has been underway for months,” Rufrano said. “It’s a highly productive forum where we can leverage our national platform, regional operating structure and leasing and development expertise to take advantage of our tenant relationships and opportunities in our portfolio.” New Plan owns 408 centers across the country.

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