BEACHWOOD, Ohio, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DDR Corp. (NYSE: DDR) today announced that it has expanded its leasing program for small businesses, Set Up Shop. DDR piloted Set Up Shop in Atlanta, Georgia in early 2012 and based on the results of the Atlanta initiative, the program has been expanded to 24 of the company's shopping centers in Florida, with an emphasis on the central Florida markets of Tampa and Orlando.
Set Up Shop is a creative approach to small-shop leasing in which qualified entrepreneurs receive flexible terms designed to limit some of the barriers associated with starting a business. The program allows DDR to reduce asset level expenses, increase recovery rates and operating income, while at the same time enhancing the merchandise mix of its assets with local businesses.
"Set Up Shop is an aggressive initiative to generate activity in targeted small-shop units in the DDR portfolio without putting capital at risk," said Paul Freddo, senior executive vice president of leasing and development for DDR. "Of the 100 units allocated to this program in Atlanta, we have generated hundreds of leads, ten fully-executed leases and a dozen others in various stages of negotiation in just two months. Examples of product type in the Set Up Shop spaces include consumer services, exercise facilities and clothing and accessory merchants."
Just as the company did in Atlanta, DDR intends to partner with SCORE, a national nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs, to serve as a resource for Set Up Shop tenants in Florida. SCORE's network of experienced volunteers will be available for free and confidential business consulting services to these retailers.
DDR is an owner and manager of 481 value-oriented shopping centers representing 123 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.
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, 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 renew or enter into new leases at favorable rates; our ability to buy or sell assets on commercially reasonable terms; our ability to complete acquisitions or dispositions of assets under contract, including the properties in the EDT Retail Portfolio; our ability to secure equity or debt financing on commercially acceptable terms or at all; 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, 2011. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that arise after the date hereof.