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Lessons Learned in Shopping Center Development

Working paper #706
Hap Stein

For those REITs and real estate operating companies that have in-house expertise development should continue to play a prominent role in building key customer relationships, expanding and enhancing the portfolio, and growing earnings and NAV. However, given the high level of risk inherent in development it is not for the feint hearted. Development companies should stick with their knitting and avoid expanding development to an extreme where it becomes an end all into itself and distracts from the objective of growing NOI in the existing portfolio. Developments must meet strict underwriting criteria, especially as it relates to working with top tier tenants and matching the space being supplied to the proven demand. Finally, development companies that ignore history and their lessons learned place the future prosperity of the full enterprise at risk.

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