Beachwood, Ohio-based DDR Corp., an owner and manager of value-oriented shopping centers, has announced the opening of Belgate Shopping Center near I-85 in Charlotte, N.C. The 900,000-square-foot value-oriented center is DDR’s first ground-up domestic development since the 2008 market crash, proving not only the developer’s confidence in the Charlotte economy, but also acting as a clear sign of market recovery.
Moreover, the project is expected to attract further commercial development along the I-85 University City corridor.
The fully leased shopping center is anchored by a 176,000-square-foot Walmart and a 367,000-square-foot IKEA, with the latter being the only location of the Swedish furniture retailer between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. That alone expands Belgate’s trade area to approximately two million shoppers.
The asset’s junior anchors include Marshalls, Old Navy, Furniture Row ULTA Beauty, Shoe Carnival and Hobby Lobby—a tenant mix that will fully benefit from the stable traffic generated by the nearby UNC Charlotte campus, boasting an enrollment in excess of 30,000 students. Traffic is expected to increase in the future with the Charlotte Area Transit System‘s expansion to University City.
“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,” declared Paul Freddo, senior executive vice president of leasing and development for DDR. He added that not only has the power center opened ahead of schedule, but it has also surpassed the development return threshold with an over 10 percent unlevered cash on cost return.
Prior to DDR’s takeover of the project, the power center’s development had been stalling for several years. With the addition of Belgate Shopping Center, DDR now owns and manages four million square feet of gross leasable area in the Charlotte metropolitan area, making the Queen City region the company’s fourth largest market after San Juan, Atlanta and Chicago. Other DDR retail properties in the region include the 2012-acquired Cotswold Village and Carolina Pavilion in Charlotte.
You can read more about the acquisition of Carolina Pavilion here.
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Photo courtesy of DDR Corp. via PRNewswire