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GREENSBORO, NC-With the economy still uncertain, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers has raised its threshold for new development, with the result that new projects are on hold, executives said at the company’s second quarter conference call.

Previously, centers that were 50% leased, negotiated or with LOIs were given the go-ahead. The developer has now raised that minimum to 75%, said Steven Tanger, CEO. A previously announced project in Mebane, NC, has not hit that mark.

“I’ve taken a much more conservative outlook, and I want to make sure that we will be at least 75% occupied,” at opening, he said.

Capital expenditures will drop to about $8 million this year and annually for the near term, compared with $30 million in 2008. A significant renovation program has been completed, so further investments are not needed, said CFO Frank J. Marchisello Jr. Acquisitions remain a possibility, though Tanger noted that none are on the market.

Wholly owned properties had a 94.7% occupancy rate. Year-to-date, the company has signed 1 million square feet of lease renewals, with an 11.6% average increase in base rental rates. Re-leased space of 224,000 square feet saw a 47.1% average base rental rate increase.

For the quarter, funds from operations (FFO) were $32.5 million, compared with FFO of $14.3 million for the same period last year. Same-center net operating income rose 1.8%. Net income available to common shareholders was $10.2 million, vs. a loss of $855,000 in the year-ago quarter.

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