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PORT WASHINGTON, NY-With Cedar Shopping Centers’ stabilized properties 96% leased, the shopping center REIT has shifted from acquisition to development mode. Its development pipeline of approximately a dozen properties is underway at an aggregate investment of between $300 million and $400 million.

Development has already begun at two large projects in Trexlertown and Harrisburg, PA among others, and their progress is “moving along very effectively,” said Leo Ullman, president, chairman and CEO, during a third-quarter conference call. He expects the locally based REIT to begin to realize benefits from pipeline openings in late 2008, extending into 2009 and beyond.

By Sept. 30, the company had completed or nearly completed its acquisitions for the year at a total cost of $290 million, including land to expand on next to the trusts’ Brickyard Plaza shopping center in Berlin, CT. The firm increased its penetration in the southern New England and Mid-Atlantic coastal markets. Stabilized properties were 96% leased at the end of third quarter.

In respect to both “the currently challenging real estate and credit markets” and “constraints on consumer spending and disposable income,” Ullman said, “we’re well positioned to ride out the storm. We’re bread and butter properties,” he said, “which have proven historically to survive challenging economic cycles.”

He pointed out that the company’s centers are geared toward convenience, and nearly all are anchored by supermarkets or drug stores with few fashion outlets or luxury retailers. As for the closings of stores announced by such national chains as Bombay, Pier 1, Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, Dollar General, Office Depot, Office Max and Circuit City, he said there had been “little or no effect on our properties.”

In response to an analyst’s question about local tenants, Ullman said, “they’re not an enormous percentage of our total. We’re very much on top of this, and we’re not experiencing any negativity as this time.”

Net income for the third quarter was up 120% to $3.9 million, versus $1.8 million for the same prior-year quarter. FFO rose 32% to $14.2 million, compared with $10.7 million at the same time a year ago. Total revenues reached $37.5 million for the quarter, up 19% from $31.6 million for third quarter 2006.

Despite these gains, CDR common stock fell to a 52-week low of $11.82 a share on the NYSE on Nov. 6, the day of the conference call, and later picked up about 1.6% to close at $12.18 a share. This compares with a 52-week high of $18.42 a share on Nov. 30, 2006.

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