BEACHWOOD, Ohio, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- DDR Corp. (NYSE: DDR) today announced the opening of Belgate Shopping Center, the Company's first ground-up domestic development in over four years. Belgate is a 100% leased, 900,000-square-foot prime power center located in Charlotte, North Carolina, anchored by IKEA, Walmart and a complimentary lineup of junior anchors including Marshalls, ULTA, Old Navy, Petco, Cost Plus World Market, Hobby Lobby and Shoe Carnival.
Belgate is strategically located along Interstate 85, the primary thoroughfare connecting Washington D.C. and Atlanta and features the only IKEA store between these two major metro areas, extending the project's trade area to more than 2 million shoppers. Additionally, the center's value-oriented merchandise mix will benefit from stable traffic generated by the adjacent UNC Charlotte campus with more than 30,000 students, and the future extension of the Charlotte Area Transit System.
"We're excited to open Belgate Shopping Center ahead of schedule while also exceeding our development return threshold with an unlevered cash on cost return in excess of 10%," said Paul Freddo, senior executive vice president of leasing and development for DDR. "Belgate represented a unique opportunity to take over a stalled development project, and by leveraging our operating platform, we were able to deliver growth opportunities for our retail partners and our shareholders."
DDR previously announced the acquisitions of Cotswold Village and Carolina Pavilion in Charlotte. With the opening of Belgate, DDR now owns and manages four million square feet of GLA in Charlotte resulting in further operating efficiencies in this large and growing MSA. Charlotte now represents DDR's fourth largest market after San Juan, Atlanta and Chicago.
Municipal leaders have expressed appreciation for DDR's investment and expertise in taking over a project that had been delayed for several years under previous ownership, as the shopping center will continue to provide enhanced retail amenities and key infrastructure and services to the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, and the surrounding trade area.
Mary Hopper, executive director of Charlotte's University City Partners, concluded, "Belgate will act as a catalyst for increased commercial development along the I-85 corridor in University City. We're excited about DDR's commitment to bringing such a substantial investment to our area."
About DDR Corp.
DDR is an owner and manager of 445 value-oriented shopping centers representing 116 million square feet in 39 states, Puerto Rico and Brazil. The Company's assets are concentrated in high barrier-to-entry markets with stable populations and high growth potential and its portfolio is actively managed to create long-term shareholder value. DDR is a self-administered and self-managed REIT operating as a fully integrated real estate company, and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol DDR. Additional information about the Company is available at www.ddr.com, as well as on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Pinterest.
DDR considers portions of the information in this press release to be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, both as amended, with respect to the Company's expectation for future periods. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, it can give no assurance that its expectations will be achieved. For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause our results to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements, including, among other factors, our ability to successfully complete the proposed acquisition of properties from the Blackstone joint venture, local conditions such as oversupply of space or a reduction in demand for real estate in the area; competition from other available space; dependence on rental income from real property; the loss of, significant downsizing of or bankruptcy of a major tenant; constructing properties or expansions that produce a desired yield on investment; our ability to buy or sell assets on commercially reasonable terms; our ability to complete acquisitions or dispositions of assets under contract; our ability to secure equity or debt financing on commercially acceptable terms or at all, including in connection with the proposed acquisition of properties from the Blackstone joint venture; our ability to enter into definitive agreements with regard to our financing and joint venture arrangements or our failure to satisfy conditions to the completion of these arrangements; and the success of our capital recycling strategy. For additional factors that could cause the results of the Company to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements, please refer to the Company's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012, as amended. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that arise after the date hereof.
SOURCE DDR Corp.