CBL & Associates Properties tenant list is a Who's Who of American retail. The self-managed real estate investment trust (REIT) owns, develops, manages, and finances shopping malls and other retail properties, primarily in the Southeast and Midwest. Its largest tenants include The Limited, The Gap, Foot Locker, and Abercrombie & Fitch. The REIT wholly owns or has interests in about 160 properties, about 95 of which are regional malls and open-air shopping centers. Strip malls (typically anchored by grocery or discount stores), associated centers (retail properties adjacent to enclosed malls, usually anchored by big-box stores), office buildings, and commercial mortgages round out its portfolio.
CBL has properties in 27 states. St. Louis, Missouri, from which it derives about 10% of its revenue, is the REIT's largest market. Other key markets include Nashville and Kansas City, as well as college towns Madison, Wisconsin and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
CBL's 2011 revenue was essentially unchanged from 2010, while net income increased by 115% over the same period. While the REIT's revenue held up pretty well during the recent deep recession, net income slid steeply in 2008 and 2009, but has made a strong comeback in the past two years.
CBL prefers to own the dominant mall in its region. Indeed, of its 165 properties, 95 are classified as market dominant. Already one of the largest mall REITs in the US, CBL is a big acquirer of regional malls and is increasingly focused on outlet malls. In mid-2011, the firm opened the first such property in Oklahoma (The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City). Also that year, CBL entered into a joint venture with TIAA-CREF in which that firm paid more than $1 billion for stakes in four of the REIT's dominant shopping malls.
CBL's growth strategy also focuses on the development of new properties and the renovation of existing properties, including adding square footage and subdividing retail space. It also updates exterior facades and interior decor, improves parking and lighting, and makes other aesthetic changes to make its properties more attractive to prospective tenants. Redevelopment activities, which slowed during the economic downturn, picked up in 2011.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In April 2013 CBL acquired the remaining 51% interest in Krikwood Mall in Bismark, North Dakota.
Co-founder Charles B. Lebovitz stepped down as CEO in early 2010 and son Stephen was named to the post. The elder Lebovitz remained board chair. The Lebovitz family owns more than 10% of CBL, as does institutional investor FMR.