SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
☒ ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2019
☐ TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
FOR THE TRANSITION PERIOD FROM ________ TO ________
Commission File No. 1-12504
THE MACERICH COMPANY
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction of|
incorporation or organization)
|(I.R.S. Employer Identification Number)|
|401 Wilshire Boulevard,||Suite 700,||Santa Monica,||California||90401|
|(Address of principal executive office, including zip code)||(Zip Code)|| |
| (Registrant's telephone number, including area code)|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Securities Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, $0.01 Par Value||MAC||New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports) and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company" and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act:
|Large accelerated filer||☒||Accelerated Filer||☐||Non-Accelerated Filer||☐||Smaller Reporting Company||☐|
|Emerging Growth Company ||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant was approximately $4.7 billion as of the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second fiscal quarter based upon the price at which the common stock was last sold on that day.
Number of shares outstanding of the registrant's common stock, as of February 21, 2020: 141,296,774 shares
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the proxy statement for the annual stockholders meeting to be held in 2020 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.
THE MACERICH COMPANY
ANNUAL REPORT ON FORM 10-K
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2019
IMPORTANT FACTORS RELATED TO FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This Annual Report on Form 10-K of The Macerich Company (the "Company") contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Any statements that do not relate to historical or current facts or matters are forward-looking statements. You can identify some of the forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking words, such as "may," "will," "could," "should," "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "projects," "predicts," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "scheduled" and variations of these words and similar expressions. Statements concerning current conditions may also be forward-looking if they imply a continuation of current conditions. Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places in this Form 10-K and include statements regarding, among other matters:
•expectations regarding the Company's growth;
•the Company's beliefs regarding its acquisition, redevelopment, development, leasing and operational activities and opportunities, including the performance of its retailers;
•the Company's acquisition, disposition and other strategies;
•regulatory matters pertaining to compliance with governmental regulations;
•the Company's capital expenditure plans and expectations for obtaining capital for expenditures;
•the Company's expectations regarding income tax benefits;
•the Company's expectations regarding its financial condition or results of operations; and
•the Company's expectations for refinancing its indebtedness, entering into and servicing debt obligations and entering into joint venture arrangements.
Stockholders are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Company or the industry to differ materially from the Company's future results, performance or achievements, or those of the industry, expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, among others, general industry, as well as national, regional and local economic and business conditions, which will, among other things, affect demand for retail space or retail goods, availability and creditworthiness of current and prospective tenants, anchor or tenant bankruptcies, closures, mergers or consolidations, lease rates, terms and payments, interest rate fluctuations, availability, terms and cost of financing and operating expenses; adverse changes in the real estate markets including, among other things, competition from other companies, retail formats and technology, risks of real estate development and redevelopment, acquisitions and dispositions; the liquidity of real estate investments, governmental actions and initiatives (including legislative and regulatory changes); environmental and safety requirements; and terrorist activities or other acts of violence which could adversely affect all of the above factors. You are urged to carefully review the disclosures we make concerning risks and other factors that may affect our business and operating results, including those made in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as our other reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this document. The Company does not intend, and undertakes no obligation, to update any forward-looking information to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this document or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, unless required by law to do so.
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
The Company is involved in the acquisition, ownership, development, redevelopment, management and leasing of regional and community/power shopping centers located throughout the United States. The Company is the sole general partner of, and owns a majority of the ownership interests in, The Macerich Partnership, L.P., a Delaware limited partnership (the "Operating Partnership"). As of December 31, 2019, the Operating Partnership owned or had an ownership interest in 47 regional shopping centers and five community/power shopping centers. These 52 regional and community/power shopping centers (which include any related office space) consist of approximately 51 million square feet of gross leasable area (“GLA”) and are referred to herein as the “Centers”. The Centers consist of consolidated Centers (“Consolidated Centers”) and unconsolidated joint venture Centers (“Unconsolidated Joint Venture Centers”), as set forth in “Item 2. Properties,” unless the context otherwise requires.
The Company is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust ("REIT") and conducts all of its operations through the Operating Partnership and the Company's management companies, Macerich Property Management Company, LLC, a single member Delaware limited liability company, Macerich Management Company, a California corporation, Macerich Arizona Partners LLC, a single member Arizona limited liability company, Macerich Arizona Management LLC, a single member Delaware limited liability company, Macerich Partners of Colorado LLC, a single member Colorado limited liability company, MACW Mall Management, Inc., a New York corporation, and MACW Property Management, LLC, a single member New York limited liability company. All seven of the management companies are owned by the Company and are collectively referred to herein as the "Management Companies."
The Company was organized as a Maryland corporation in September 1993. All references to the Company in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include the Company, those entities owned or controlled by the Company and predecessors of the Company, unless the context indicates otherwise.
Financial information regarding the Company for each of the last three fiscal years is contained in the Company's Consolidated Financial Statements included in "Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedule."
On January 10, 2019, the Company replaced the existing loan on Fashion Outlets of Chicago with a new $300.0 million loan that bears interest at an effective rate of 4.61% and matures on February 1, 2031. The Company used the net proceeds to pay down its line of credit and for general corporate purposes.
On February 22, 2019, the Company’s joint venture in The Shops at Atlas Park entered into an agreement to increase the total borrowing capacity of the existing loan on the property from $57.8 million to $80.0 million, and to extend the maturity date to October 28, 2021, including extension options. Concurrent with the loan modification, the joint venture borrowed an additional $18.4 million. The Company used its $9.2 million share of the additional proceeds to pay down its line of credit and for general corporate purposes.
On June 3, 2019, the Company’s joint venture in SanTan Village Regional Center replaced the existing loan on the property with a new $220.0 million loan that bears interest at an effective rate of 4.34% and matures on July 1, 2029. The Company used its share of the additional proceeds to pay down its line of credit and for general corporate purposes.
On June 27, 2019, the Company replaced the existing loan on Chandler Fashion Center with a new $256.0 million loan that bears interest at an effective rate of 4.18% and matures on July 5, 2024. The Company used its share of the additional proceeds to pay down its line of credit and for general corporate purposes.
On July 25, 2019, the Company's joint venture in Fashion District Philadelphia amended the existing term loan on the joint venture to allow for additional borrowings up to $100.0 million at LIBOR plus 2.00%. Concurrent with the amendment, the joint venture borrowed an additional $26.0 million. On August 16, 2019, the joint venture borrowed an additional $25.0 million. The Company used its share of the additional proceeds to pay down its line of credit and for general corporate purposes.
On September 12, 2019, the Company’s joint venture in Tysons Tower placed a new $190.0 million loan on the property that bears interest at an effective rate of 3.38% and matures on November 11, 2029. The Company used its share of the proceeds to pay down its line of credit and for general corporate purposes.
On October 17, 2019, the Company’s joint venture in West Acres placed a construction loan on the property that allows for borrowing of up to $6.5 million, bears interest at an effective rate of 3.72% and matures on October 10, 2029. The joint venture intends to use the proceeds from the loan to fund the expansion of the property.
On December 3, 2019, the Company replaced the existing loan on Kings Plaza Shopping Center with a new $540.0 million loan that bears interest at an effective rate of 3.71% and matures on January 1, 2030. The Company used the additional proceeds to pay down its line of credit and for general corporate purposes.
On December 18, 2019, the Company’s joint venture in One Westside placed a $414.6 million construction loan on the redevelopment project (See "Redevelopment and Development Activities"). The loan bears interest at LIBOR plus 1.70%, which can be reduced to LIBOR plus 1.50% upon the completion of certain conditions and matures on December 18, 2024. The joint venture intends to use the loan proceeds to fund the completion of the project.
Redevelopment and Development Activity:
On September 19, 2019, the Company's joint venture with Pennsylvania REIT opened the first phase of the redevelopment of Fashion District Philadelphia, an 899,000 square foot regional shopping center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The project will have additional tenant openings throughout 2020 and early 2021. The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $400.0 million and $420.0 million, with $200.0 million to $210.0 million estimated to be the Company's pro rata share. The Company has funded $190.9 million of the total $381.8 million incurred by the joint venture as of December 31, 2019.
The Company's joint venture in Scottsdale Fashion Square completed the redevelopment of a former Barney's store and an 80,000 square foot exterior expansion in the fourth quarter of 2019. The Company has funded $40.0 million of the total $80.0 million incurred by the joint venture as of December 31, 2019.
The Company's joint venture with Hudson Pacific Properties is redeveloping One Westside into 584,000 square feet of creative office space and 96,000 square feet of dining and entertainment space. The entire creative office space has been leased to Google and is expected to be completed in 2022. The total cost of the project is estimated to be between $500.0 million and $550.0 million, with $125.0 million to $137.5 million estimated to be the Company's pro rata share. The Company has funded $50.4 million of the total $201.5 million incurred by the joint venture as of December 31, 2019. The joint venture expects to fund the remaining costs of the development with its new $414.6 million construction loan (See "Financing Activities").
The Company has a 50/50 joint venture with Simon Property Group to develop Los Angeles Premium Outlets, a premium outlet center in Carson, California that is planned to open with approximately 400,000 square feet, followed by an additional 165,000 square feet in the second phase. The Company has funded $35.9 million of the total $71.7 million incurred by the joint venture as of December 31, 2019.
In connection with the closures and lease rejections of several Sears stores owned or partially owned by the Company, the Company anticipates spending between $130.0 million to $160.0 million at the Company’s pro rata share to redevelop the Sears stores. The anticipated openings of such redevelopments are expected to occur over several years. The estimated range of redevelopment costs could increase if the Company or its joint venture decides to expand the scope of the redevelopments. The Company has funded $22.4 million at its pro rata share as of December 31, 2019.
Other Transactions and Events:
On January 1, 2019, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC") 842, "Leases", under the modified retrospective method. The new standard amended the principles for the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases for both parties to a contract (i.e. lessees and lessors). In connection with the adoption of the new lease standard, the Company elected to use the transition packages of practical expedients for implementation provided by the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB"), which included (i) relief from re-assessing whether an expired or existing contract meets the definition of a lease, (ii) relief from re-assessing the classification of expired or existing leases at the adoption date, (iii) allowing previously capitalized initial direct leasing costs to continue to be amortized, and (iv) application of the standard as of the adoption date rather than to all periods presented.
Upon adoption of the new standard, the Company has presented all revenues associated with leases as leasing revenue on its consolidated statements of operations. The new standard requires the Company to reduce leasing revenue for credit losses associated with lease receivables. In addition, straight-line rent receivables are written off when the Company believes there is reasonable uncertainty regarding a tenant's ability to complete the term of the lease. The new standard also requires that lessors expense, on an as-incurred basis, certain initial direct costs that are not incremental in negotiating a lease. Initial direct costs include the salaries and related costs for employees directly working on leasing activities. Prior to January 1, 2019, these costs were capitalizable and therefore the new lease standard resulted in certain of these costs being expensed as incurred.
The Shopping Center Industry
There are several types of retail shopping centers, which are differentiated primarily based on size and marketing strategy. Regional shopping centers generally contain in excess of 400,000 square feet of GLA and are typically anchored by two or more department or large retail stores ("Anchors") and are referred to as "Regional Shopping Centers" or "Malls." Regional Shopping Centers also typically contain numerous diversified retail stores ("Mall Stores"), most of which are national or regional retailers typically located along corridors connecting the Anchors. "Strip centers", "urban villages" or "specialty centers" ("Community/Power Shopping Centers") are retail shopping centers that are designed to attract local or neighborhood customers and are typically anchored by one or more supermarkets, discount department stores and/or drug stores. Community/Power Shopping Centers typically contain 100,000 to 400,000 square feet of GLA. Outlet Centers generally contain a wide variety of designer and manufacturer stores, often located in an open-air center, and typically range in size from 200,000 to 850,000 square feet of GLA ("Outlet Centers"). In addition, freestanding retail stores are located along the perimeter of the
shopping centers ("Freestanding Stores"). Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores over 10,000 square feet of GLA are also referred to as "Big Box." Anchors, Mall Stores, Freestanding Stores and other tenants typically contribute funds for the maintenance of the common areas, property taxes, insurance, advertising and other expenditures related to the operation of the shopping center.
Regional Shopping Centers:
A Regional Shopping Center draws from its trade area by offering a variety of fashion merchandise, hard goods and services and entertainment, often in an enclosed, climate controlled environment with convenient parking. Regional Shopping Centers provide an array of retail shops and entertainment facilities and often serve as the town center and a gathering place for community, charity and promotional events.
Regional Shopping Centers have generally provided owners with relatively stable income despite the cyclical nature of the retail business. This stability is due both to the diversity of tenants and to the typical dominance of Regional Shopping Centers in their trade areas.
Regional Shopping Centers have different strategies with regard to price, merchandise offered and tenant mix, and are generally tailored to meet the needs of their trade areas. Anchors are located along common areas in a configuration designed to maximize consumer traffic for the benefit of the Mall Stores. Mall GLA, which generally refers to GLA contiguous to the Anchors for tenants other than Anchors, is leased to a wide variety of smaller retailers. Mall Stores typically account for the majority of the revenues of a Regional Shopping Center.
Business of the Company
The Company has a long-term four-pronged business strategy that focuses on the acquisition, leasing and management, redevelopment and development of Regional Shopping Centers.
Acquisitions. The Company principally focuses on well-located, quality Regional Shopping Centers that can be dominant in their trade area and have strong revenue enhancement potential. In addition, the Company pursues other opportunistic acquisitions of property that include retail and will complement the Company's portfolio such as Outlet Centers. The Company subsequently seeks to improve operating performance and returns from these properties through leasing, management and redevelopment. Since its initial public offering, the Company has acquired interests in shopping centers nationwide. The Company believes that it is geographically well positioned to cultivate and maintain ongoing relationships with potential sellers and financial institutions and to act quickly when acquisition opportunities arise.
Leasing and Management. The Company believes that the shopping center business requires specialized skills across a broad array of disciplines for effective and profitable operations. For this reason, the Company has developed a fully integrated real estate organization with in-house acquisition, accounting, development, finance, information technology, leasing, legal, marketing, property management and redevelopment expertise. In addition, the Company emphasizes a philosophy of decentralized property management, leasing and marketing performed by on-site professionals. The Company believes that this strategy results in the optimal operation, tenant mix and drawing power of each Center, as well as the ability to quickly respond to changing competitive conditions of the Center's trade area.
The Company believes that on-site property managers can most effectively operate the Centers. Each Center's property manager is responsible for overseeing the operations, marketing, maintenance and security functions at the Center. Property managers focus special attention on controlling operating costs, a key element in the profitability of the Centers, and seek to develop strong relationships with, and be responsive to, the needs of retailers.
The Company generally utilizes regionally located leasing managers to better understand the market and the community in which a Center is located. The Company continually assesses and fine tunes each Center's tenant mix, identifies and replaces underperforming tenants and seeks to optimize existing tenant sizes and configurations.
On a selective basis, the Company provides property management and leasing services for third parties. The Company currently manages one regional shopping center and two community centers for third party owners on a fee basis.
Redevelopment. One of the major components of the Company's growth strategy is its ability to redevelop acquired properties. On a selective basis, the Company's business strategy may include mixed-use densification to maximize space at the Company’s Regional Shopping Centers, including by developing available land at the Regional Shopping Centers or by demolishing underperforming department store boxes and redeveloping the land. For this reason, the Company has built a staff of redevelopment professionals who have primary responsibility for identifying redevelopment opportunities that they believe will result in enhanced long-term financial returns and market position for the Centers. The redevelopment professionals oversee the design and construction of the projects in addition to obtaining required governmental approvals (See "Redevelopment and Development Activity" in Recent Developments).
Development. The Company pursues ground-up development projects on a selective basis. The Company has supplemented its strong acquisition, operations and redevelopment skills with its ground-up development expertise to further increase growth opportunities (See "Redevelopment and Development Activity" in Recent Developments).
As of December 31, 2019, the Centers primarily included 47 Regional Shopping Centers and five Community/Power Shopping Centers totaling approximately 51 million square feet of GLA. These 52 Centers average approximately 920,000 square feet of GLA and range in size from 3.5 million square feet of GLA at Tysons Corner Center to 184,000 square feet of GLA at Boulevard Shops. As of December 31, 2019, the Centers primarily included 176 Anchors totaling approximately 23.7 million square feet of GLA and approximately 5,000 Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores totaling approximately 24.5 million square feet of GLA.
Numerous owners, developers and managers of malls, shopping centers and other retail-oriented real estate compete with the Company for the acquisition of properties and in attracting tenants or Anchors to occupy space. There are a number of other publicly traded mall companies and several large private mall companies in the United States, any of which under certain circumstances could compete against the Company for an Anchor or a tenant. In addition, these companies, as well as other REITs, private real estate companies or investors compete with the Company in terms of property acquisitions. This results in competition both for the acquisition of properties or centers and for tenants or Anchors to occupy space. Competition for property acquisitions may result in increased purchase prices and may adversely affect the Company's ability to make suitable property acquisitions on favorable terms. The existence of competing shopping centers could have a material adverse impact on the Company's ability to lease space and on the level of rents that can be achieved. There is also increasing competition from other retail formats and technologies, such as lifestyle centers, power centers, outlet centers, Internet shopping, home shopping networks, catalogs, telemarketing and discount shopping clubs that could adversely affect the Company's revenues.
In making leasing decisions, the Company believes that retailers consider the following material factors relating to a center: quality, design and location, including consumer demographics; rental rates; type and quality of Anchors and retailers at the center; and management and operational experience and strategy of the center. The Company believes it is able to compete effectively for retail tenants in its local markets based on these criteria in light of the overall size, quality and diversity of its Centers.
For the year ended December 31, 2019, the Centers derived approximately 73% of their total rents from Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores under 10,000 square feet and 27% of their total rents from Big Box and Anchor tenants. Total rents as set forth in "Item 1. Business" include minimum rents and percentage rents.
The following retailers (including their subsidiaries) represent the 10 largest tenants in the Centers based upon total rents in place as of December 31, 2019:
|Tenant||Primary DBAs||Number of|
|% of Total|
|L Brands, Inc.||Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, PINK||91 || ||2.9 ||%|
|H & M Hennes & Mauritz AB||H & M||31 || ||2.3 ||%|
|Foot Locker, Inc.||Champs Sports, Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Lady Foot Locker, Foot Action, House of Hoops, and others||87 || ||2.2 ||%|
|Gap, Inc., The||Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Gap Kids, Old Navy and others||53 || ||1.9 ||%|
|Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc.||Dick's Sporting Goods||15 || ||1.6 ||%|
|Signet Jewelers||Jared Jewelry, Kay Jewelers, Piercing Pagoda, Zales||94 || ||1.6 ||%|
|Forever 21, Inc.(1)||Forever 21, XXI Forever||26 || ||1.4 ||%|
|American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.||American Eagle Outfitters, aerie||37 || ||1.2 ||%|
|Abercrombie & Fitch||Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister||52 || ||1.2 ||%|
|Express||Express, Express Men||28 || ||1.1 ||%|
(1)Forever 21, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September 2019. The total rents used to compute the percentage of rent paid by Forever 21, Inc. in the table above are the anticipated rents to be paid to the Company in 2020 based on a negotiated settlement currently in process through the bankruptcy court.
Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores:
Mall Store and Freestanding Store leases generally provide for tenants to pay rent comprised of a base (or "minimum") rent and a percentage rent based on sales. In some cases, tenants pay only minimum rent, and in other cases, tenants pay only percentage rent. The Company generally enters into leases for Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores that also require tenants to pay a stated amount for operating expenses, generally excluding property taxes, regardless of the expenses the Company actually incurs at any Center. However, certain leases for Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores contain provisions that only require tenants to pay their pro rata share of maintenance of the common areas, property taxes, insurance, advertising and other expenditures related to the operations of the Center.
Tenant space of 10,000 square feet and under in the Company's portfolio at December 31, 2019 comprises approximately 65% of all Mall Store and Freestanding Store space. The Company uses tenant spaces of 10,000 square feet and under for comparing rental rate activity because this space is more consistent in terms of shape and configuration and, as such, the Company is able to provide a meaningful comparison of rental rate activity for this space. Mall Store and Freestanding Store space greater than 10,000 square feet is inconsistent in size and configuration throughout the Company's portfolio and as a result does not lend itself to a meaningful comparison of rental rate activity with the Company's other space. Much of the non-Anchor space over 10,000 square feet is not physically connected to the mall, does not share the same common area amenities and does not benefit from the foot traffic in the mall. As a result, space greater than 10,000 square feet has a unique rent structure that is inconsistent with mall space under 10,000 square feet.
The following tables set forth the average base rent per square foot for the Centers, as of December 31 for each of the past five years:
Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores under 10,000 square feet:
|For the Years Ended December 31,||Avg. Base|
|Avg. Base Rent|
Per Sq. Ft. on
During the Year(2)(3)
|Avg. Base Rent|
Per Sq. Ft.
on Leases Expiring
During the Year(2)(4)
|Consolidated Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || |
|2019||$||58.76 || ||$||53.29 || ||$||53.20 || |
|2018||$||56.82 || ||$||54.00 || ||$||49.07 || |
|2017||$||55.08 || ||$||57.36 || ||$||49.61 || |
|2016||$||53.51 || ||$||53.48 || ||$||44.77 || |
|2015||$||52.64 || ||$||53.99 || ||$||49.02 || |
|Unconsolidated Joint Venture Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || || || || |
|2019||$||65.67 || ||$||73.05 || ||$||65.22 || |
|2018||$||63.84 || ||$||66.95 || ||$||59.49 || |
|2017||$||60.99 || ||$||63.50 || ||$||55.50 || |
|2016||$||57.90 || ||$||64.78 || ||$||57.29 || |
|2015||$||60.74 || ||$||80.18 || ||$||60.85 || |
Big Box and Anchors:
|For the Years Ended December 31,||Avg. Base|
|Avg. Base Rent|
Per Sq. Ft. on
During the Year(2)(3)
|Avg. Base Rent|
Per Sq. Ft.
on Leases Expiring
During the Year(2)(4)
|Consolidated Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || || || |
|2019||$||16.51 || ||$||15.47 || ||24 || ||$||10.37 || ||11 || |
|2018||$||15.29 || ||$||14.03 || ||23 || ||$||16.83 || ||13 || |
|2017||$||14.13 || ||$||18.19 || ||24 || ||$||14.85 || ||21 || |
|2016||$||13.34 || ||$||22.23 || ||20 || ||$||19.12 || ||8 || |
|2015||$||12.72 || ||$||19.87 || ||19 || ||$||8.96 || ||14 || |
|Unconsolidated Joint Venture Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || || || |
|2019||$||17.20 || ||$||25.62 || ||13 || ||$||19.28 || ||8 || |
|2018||$||17.40 || ||$||38.98 || ||11 || ||$||38.20 || ||7 || |
|2017||$||16.87 || ||$||26.33 || ||15 || ||$||33.25 || ||8 || |
|2016||$||15.76 || ||$||29.41 || ||13 || ||$||28.00 || ||1 || |
|2015||$||14.48 || ||$||33.00 || ||14 || ||$||9.30 || ||8 || |
(1)Average base rent per square foot is based on spaces occupied as of December 31 for each of the Centers and gives effect to the terms of each lease in effect, as of such date, including any concessions, abatements and other adjustments or allowances that have been granted to the tenants.
(2)Centers under development and redevelopment are excluded from average base rents. As a result, the leases for Fashion District Philadelphia, Paradise Valley Mall and One Westside are excluded for the years ended December 31, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015. The leases for Broadway Plaza are excluded for the years ended December 31, 2016 and 2015. The leases for Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls USA and SouthPark Mall are excluded for the year ended December 31, 2015.
The leases for Cascade Mall and Northgate Mall, which were sold on January 18, 2017, are excluded for the year ended December 31, 2016. Flagstaff Mall was conveyed to the mortgage lender by a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on July 15, 2016 and is excluded for the year ended December 31, 2015.
(3)The average base rent per square foot on leases executed during the year represents the actual rent paid on a per square foot basis during the first twelve months of the lease.
(4)The average base rent per square foot on leases expiring during the year represents the actual rent to be paid on a per square foot basis during the final twelve months of the lease.
Cost of Occupancy:
A major factor contributing to tenant profitability is cost of occupancy, which consists of tenant occupancy costs charged by the Company. Tenant expenses included in this calculation are minimum rents, percentage rents and recoverable expenditures, which consist primarily of property operating expenses, real estate taxes and repair and maintenance expenditures. These tenant charges are collectively referred to as tenant occupancy costs. These tenant occupancy costs are compared to tenant sales. A low cost of occupancy percentage shows more potential capacity for the Company to increase rents at the time of lease renewal than a high cost of occupancy percentage. The following table summarizes occupancy costs for Mall Store and Freestanding Store tenants in the Centers as a percentage of total Mall Store sales for the last five years:
| ||For the Years Ended December 31,|
|Consolidated Centers:|| || || || || |
|Minimum rents||9.1 ||%||9.3 ||%||9.5 ||%||9.4 ||%||9.0 ||%|
|Percentage rents||0.4 ||%||0.3 ||%||0.3 ||%||0.4 ||%||0.4 ||%|
|Expense recoveries(3)||3.6 ||%||3.9 ||%||4.2 ||%||4.3 ||%||4.5 ||%|
|13.1 ||%||13.5 ||%||14.0 ||%||14.1 ||%||13.9 ||%|
|Unconsolidated Joint Venture Centers:|| || || || || |
|Minimum rents||7.3 ||%||7.8 ||%||8.6 ||%||8.6 ||%||8.1 ||%|
|Percentage rents||0.3 ||%||0.3 ||%||0.3 ||%||0.3 ||%||0.4 ||%|
|Expense recoveries(3)||3.2 ||%||3.4 ||%||3.8 ||%||3.9 ||%||4.0 ||%|
|10.8 ||%||11.5 ||%||12.7 ||%||12.8 ||%||12.5 ||%|
(1)Cascade Mall and Northgate Mall were sold on January 18, 2017 and are excluded for the year ended December 31, 2016.
(2)Flagstaff Mall was conveyed to the mortgage lender by a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure on July 15, 2016 and is excluded for the year ended December 31, 2015.
(3)Represents real estate tax and common area maintenance charges.
The following tables show scheduled lease expirations for Centers owned as of December 31, 2019 for the next ten years, assuming that none of the tenants exercise renewal options:
Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores under 10,000 square feet:
|Year Ending December 31,||Number of|
GLA of Leases
|% of Total Leased|
|Ending Base Rent|
per Square Foot of
|% of Base Rent|
|Consolidated Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || || || |
|2020||324 || ||669,961 || ||15.30 ||%||$||55.73 || ||12.91 ||%|
|2021||320 || ||606,388 || ||13.84 ||%||$||60.36 || ||12.66 ||%|
|2022||285 || ||470,126 || ||10.73 ||%||$||65.95 || ||10.72 ||%|
|2023||226 || ||456,925 || ||10.43 ||%||$||61.34 || ||9.69 ||%|
|2024||244 || ||578,073 || ||13.20 ||%||$||67.94 || ||13.58 ||%|
|2025||169 || ||402,136 || ||9.18 ||%||$||73.18 || ||10.18 ||%|
|2026||145 || ||415,401 || ||9.48 ||%||$||72.95 || ||10.48 ||%|
|2027||93 || ||224,400 || ||5.12 ||%||$||81.62 || ||6.33 ||%|
|2028||81 || ||212,304 || ||4.85 ||%||$||67.84 || ||4.98 ||%|
|2029||82 || ||227,595 || ||5.20 ||%||$||80.47 || ||6.33 ||%|
|Unconsolidated Joint Venture Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || || || |
|2020||217 || ||261,174 || ||11.48 ||%||$||55.18 || ||8.70 ||%|
|2021||268 || ||322,600 || ||14.18 ||%||$||64.79 || ||12.61 ||%|
|2022||190 || ||230,695 || ||10.14 ||%||$||68.51 || ||9.54 ||%|
|2023||164 || ||240,096 || ||10.56 ||%||$||65.83 || ||9.54 ||%|
|2024||172 || ||232,829 || ||10.24 ||%||$||71.21 || ||10.01 ||%|
|2025||135 || ||213,831 || ||9.40 ||%||$||71.86 || ||9.27 ||%|
|2026||161 || ||226,891 || ||9.98 ||%||$||88.69 || ||12.15 ||%|
|2027||116 || ||163,281 || ||7.18 ||%||$||90.36 || ||8.91 ||%|
|2028||104 || ||176,492 || ||7.76 ||%||$||86.97 || ||9.26 ||%|
|2029||85 || ||110,480 || ||4.86 ||%||$||79.71 || ||5.32 ||%|
Big Boxes and Anchors:
|Year Ending December 31,||Number of|
GLA of Leases
|% of Total Leased|
|Ending Base Rent|
per Square Foot of
|% of Base Rent|
|Consolidated Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || || || |
|2020||10 || ||470,910 || ||5.34 ||%||$||11.03 || ||3.29 ||%|
|2021||20 || ||715,068 || ||8.12 ||%||$||10.47 || ||4.75 ||%|
|2022||27 || ||941,805 || ||10.69 ||%||$||22.62 || ||13.49 ||%|
|2023||29 || ||884,615 || ||10.04 ||%||$||12.63 || ||7.08 ||%|
|2024||27 || ||772,756 || ||8.77 ||%||$||22.24 || ||10.89 ||%|
|2025||25 || ||825,362 || ||9.37 ||%||$||19.85 || ||10.38 ||%|
|2026||17 || ||833,376 || ||9.46 ||%||$||13.18 || ||6.96 ||%|
|2027||19 || ||564,153 || ||6.40 ||%||$||30.08 || ||10.75 ||%|
|2028||19 || ||884,785 || ||10.04 ||%||$||17.23 || ||9.66 ||%|
|2029||7 || ||238,522 || ||2.71 ||%||$||9.34 || ||1.41 ||%|
|Unconsolidated Joint Venture Centers (at the Company's pro rata share):|| || || || || |
|2020||15 || ||201,601 || ||4.17 ||%||$||27.31 || ||6.29 ||%|
|2021||19 || ||288,748 || ||5.97 ||%||$||24.72 || ||8.16 ||%|
|2022||18 || ||497,807 || ||10.29 ||%||$||12.48 || ||7.10 ||%|
|2023||21 || ||291,620 || ||6.03 ||%||$||24.12 || ||8.04 ||%|
|2024||20 || ||310,779 || ||6.43 ||%||$||36.13 || ||12.83 ||%|
|2025||21 || ||748,340 || ||15.48 ||%||$||10.54 || ||9.02 ||%|
|2026||21 || ||407,761 || ||8.43 ||%||$||25.78 || ||12.02 ||%|
|2027||13 || ||292,686 || ||6.05 ||%||$||18.84 || ||6.30 ||%|
|2028||11 || ||380,712 || ||7.87 ||%||$||17.76 || ||7.73 ||%|
|2029||11 || ||288,865 || ||5.97 ||%||$||12.94 || ||4.27 ||%|
(1)The ending base rent per square foot on leases expiring during the period represents the final year minimum rent, on a cash basis, for tenant leases expiring during the year. Currently, 30% of leases have provisions for future consumer price index increases that are not reflected in ending base rent. The leases for Centers currently under development and redevelopment are excluded from this table.
Anchors have traditionally been a major factor in the public's identification with Regional Shopping Centers. Anchors are generally department stores whose merchandise appeals to a broad range of shoppers. Although the Centers receive a smaller percentage of their operating income from Anchors than from Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores, strong Anchors play an important part in maintaining customer traffic and making the Centers desirable locations for Mall Store and Freestanding Store tenants.
Anchors either own their stores, the land under them and in some cases adjacent parking areas, or enter into long-term leases with an owner at rates that are lower than the rents charged to tenants of Mall Stores and Freestanding Stores. Each Anchor that owns its own store and certain Anchors that lease their stores enter into reciprocal easement agreements with the owner of the Center covering, among other things, operational matters, initial construction and future expansion.
Anchors accounted for approximately 7.3% of the Company's total rents for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The following table identifies each Anchor, each parent company that owns multiple Anchors and the number of square feet owned or leased by each such Anchor or parent company in the Company's portfolio at December 31, 2019.
|Macy's Inc.|| || || || || || || || |
|Macy's||36 || ||4,698,000 || ||1,931,000 || ||6,629,000 || |
|Bloomingdale's||2 || ||— || ||355,000 || ||355,000 || |
|38 || ||4,698,000 || ||2,286,000 || ||6,984,000 || |
|JCPenney(1)||27 || ||1,641,000 || ||2,299,000 || ||3,940,000 || |
|Sears(2)||5 || ||— || ||584,000 || ||584,000 || |
|Dillard's||13 || ||2,107,000 || ||257,000 || ||2,364,000 || |
|Nordstrom(3)||12 || ||739,000 || ||1,339,000 || ||2,078,000 || |
|Dick's Sporting Goods||15 || ||— || ||952,000 || ||952,000 || |
|Forever 21(4)||7 || ||— || ||629,000 || ||629,000 || |
|Target||4 || ||304,000 || ||273,000 || ||577,000 || |
|Hudson Bay Company|
|Lord & Taylor(5)||3 || ||121,000 || ||199,000 || ||320,000 || |
|Saks Fifth Avenue||1 || ||— || ||92,000 || ||92,000 || |
|4 || ||121,000 || ||291,000 || ||412,000 || |
|Home Depot||3 || ||— || ||395,000 || ||395,000 || |
|Burlington||4 || ||187,000 || ||182,000 || ||369,000 || |
|Costco||2 || ||— || ||321,000 || ||321,000 || |
|Primark(6)||4 || ||— || ||251,000 || ||251,000 || |
|Kohl's||1 || ||— || ||84,000 || ||84,000 || |
|Neiman Marcus||2 || ||— || ||188,000 || ||188,000 || |
|Von Maur||2 || ||187,000 || ||— || ||187,000 || |
|Walmart||1 || ||— || ||173,000 || ||173,000 || |
|Century 21||2 || ||— || ||171,000 || ||171,000 || |
|La Curacao||1 || ||— || ||165,000 || ||165,000 || |
|Boscov's||1 || ||— || ||161,000 || ||161,000 || |
|Belk||2 || ||— || ||139,000 || ||139,000 || |
|BJ's Wholesale Club||1 || ||— || ||123,000 || ||123,000 || |
|Lowe's||1 || ||— || ||114,000 || ||114,000 || |
|Mercado de los Cielos||1 || ||— || ||78,000 || ||78,000 || |
|L.L. Bean||1 || ||— || ||75,000 || ||75,000 || |
|Best Buy||1 || ||66,000 || ||— || ||66,000 || |
|Des Moines Area Community College||1 || ||64,000 || ||— || ||64,000 || |
|Bealls||1 || ||— || ||40,000 || ||40,000 || |
|Vacant Anchors(7)||16 || ||— || ||1,849,000 || ||1,849,000 || |
|173 || ||10,114,000 || ||13,419,000 || ||23,533,000 || |
|Anchors at Centers not owned by the Company(8):|
|Kohl's||1 || ||— || ||83,000 || ||83,000 || |
|Vacant Anchors(7)||2 || ||— || ||120,000 || ||120,000 || |
|Total||176 || ||10,114,000 || ||13,622,000 || ||23,736,000 || |
(1)JCPenney announced plans to close their store at Green Acres Mall in 2020. The Company is actively releasing this site.
(2)Three of these five Sears stores are closing in early 2020. The Company continues to collect rent under the terms of the related leases. The Company is actively seeking replacement tenants for these Company-owned sites.
(3)Nordstrom has announced plans to open a 116,000 square foot store at Country Club Plaza in 2021.
(4)Forever 21 has announced plans to close two of these stores in early 2020 at Arrowhead Towne Center and Danbury Fair Mall. The Company is actively seeking replacement tenants for these Company-owned sites.
(5)The Lord & Taylor store closed at Tysons Corner Center in January 2020. The joint venture is actively evaluating redevelopment opportunities.
(6)Primark has announced plans to open a 47,000 square foot store at Fashion District Philadelphia in Spring 2021.
(7)The Company is actively seeking replacement tenants or has entered into replacement leases for many of these vacant sites and/or is currently executing on or considering redevelopment opportunities for these locations. The Company continues to collect rent under the terms of an agreement regarding one of these vacant Anchors.
(8)The Company owns an office building and six stores located at shopping centers not owned by the Company. Of these six stores, one has been leased to Kohl's, two are vacant and three have been leased for non-Anchor usage.
Each of the Centers has been subjected to an Environmental Site Assessment—Phase I (which involves review of publicly available information and general property inspections, but does not involve soil sampling or ground water analysis) completed by an environmental consultant.
Based on these assessments, and on other information, the Company is aware of the following environmental issues, which may result in potential environmental liability and cause the Company to incur costs in responding to these liabilities or in other costs associated with future investigation or remediation:
•Asbestos. The Company has conducted asbestos-containing materials ("ACM") surveys at various locations within the Centers. The surveys indicate that ACMs are present or suspected in certain areas, primarily vinyl floor tiles, mastics, roofing materials, drywall tape and joint compounds. The identified ACMs are generally non-friable, in good condition, and possess low probabilities for disturbance. At certain Centers where ACMs are present or suspected, however, some ACMs have been or may be classified as "friable," and ultimately may require removal under certain conditions. The Company has developed and implemented an operations and maintenance ("O&M") plan to manage ACMs in place.
•Underground Storage Tanks. Underground storage tanks ("USTs") are or were present at certain Centers, often in connection with tenant operations at gasoline stations or automotive tire, battery and accessory service centers located at such Centers. USTs also may be or have been present at properties neighboring certain Centers. Some of these tanks have either leaked or are suspected to have leaked. Where leakage has occurred, investigation, remediation, and monitoring costs may be incurred by the Company if responsible current or former tenants, or other responsible parties, are unavailable to pay such costs.
•Chlorinated Hydrocarbons. The presence of chlorinated hydrocarbons such as perchloroethylene ("PCE") and its degradation byproducts have been detected at certain Centers, often in connection with tenant dry cleaning operations. Where PCE has been detected, the Company may incur investigation, remediation and monitoring costs if responsible current or former tenants, or other responsible parties, are unavailable to pay such costs.
See "Item 1A. Risk Factors—Possible environmental liabilities could adversely affect us."
Each of the Centers has comprehensive liability, fire, extended coverage and rental loss insurance with insured limits customarily carried for similar properties. The Company does not insure certain types of losses (such as losses from wars), because they are either uninsurable or not economically insurable. In addition, while the Company or the relevant joint venture, as applicable, carry specific earthquake insurance on the Centers located in California, the policies are subject to a deductible equal to 5% of the total insured value of each Center, a $100,000 per occurrence minimum and a combined annual aggregate loss limit of $100 million on these Centers. The Company or the relevant joint venture, as applicable, carry specific earthquake insurance on the Centers located in the Pacific Northwest and in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. However, the policies are subject to a deductible equal to 2% of the total insured value of each Center, a $50,000 per occurrence minimum and a combined annual aggregate loss limit of $100 million on these Centers. While the Company or the relevant joint venture also carries standalone terrorism insurance on the Centers, the policies are subject to a $25,000 deductible and a combined annual aggregate loss limit of $1.0 billion. Each Center has environmental insurance covering eligible third-party losses, remediation and non-owned disposal sites, subject to a $100,000 retention and a $50 million three-year aggregate loss limit, with the exception of one Center, which has a $5 million ten-year aggregate loss limit and another Center, which has a $20 million ten-year aggregate loss limit. Some environmental losses are not covered by this insurance because they are uninsurable or not economically insurable. Furthermore, the Company carries title insurance on substantially all of the Centers for generally less than their full value.
Qualification as a Real Estate Investment Trust
The Company elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"), commencing with its first taxable year ended December 31, 1994, and intends to conduct its operations so as to continue to qualify as a REIT under the Code. As a REIT, the Company generally will not be subject to federal and state income taxes on its net taxable income that it currently distributes to stockholders. Qualification and taxation as a REIT depends on the Company's ability to meet certain dividend distribution tests, share ownership requirements and various qualification tests prescribed in the Code.
Supplemental Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations
The following discussion updates the disclosures under “Material United States Federal Income Tax Considerations” in the prospectus dated August 10, 2017 contained in the Company's Registration Statement on Form S-3 filed with the SEC on August 10, 2017, as previously updated by the disclosures under “Supplemental Material Federal Income Tax Considerations” in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 filed with the SEC on February 23, 2018 and its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 filed with the SEC on February 25, 2019 (collectively, the “Base Disclosure”).
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "TCJA") repealed the rule, referenced under the heading “Taxable REIT Subsidiaries,” that limits a taxable REIT subsidiary’s ability to deduct interest payments made to the Company. The TCJA introduced a rule which may limit the deductibility of interest payments by the Company and its subsidiaries, including its Taxable REIT subsidiaries. However, certain tax elections may be available to a "real property trade or business" to have this rule not apply.
Recently promulgated proposed regulations make certain changes to the discussion of “qualified foreign pension funds” appearing under the heading “Taxation of Non-U.S. Stockholders–Dispositions of Stock”. Under the proposed regulations, entities that are wholly owned, directly or indirectly, by one or more qualified foreign pension funds are exempt from FIRPTA in the same manner as described in the Base Disclosure for qualified foreign pension funds. The proposed regulations also do not require an entity to provide annual information reporting about its beneficiaries to relevant local tax authorities in order to qualify as a qualified foreign pension fund as long as such information is either available to the taxing authorities or is provided to another government agency. These proposed regulations have not been finalized, may never be finalized, and may be rescinded at any time, but taxpayers may rely on them while they are proposed, provided they apply them consistently and accurately.
The TCJA introduced a rule which expanded the scope of the $1 million limitation on corporate tax deductions and repealed the exclusion for performance-based compensation (the "section 162(m) limitation"). Proposed regulations were issued in late 2019 which may cause the Company to be subject to the section 162(m) limitation.
As of December 31, 2019, the Company had approximately 737 employees, of which approximately 723 were full-time. The Company believes that relations with its employees are good.
The shopping center industry is seasonal in nature, particularly in the fourth quarter during the holiday season when retailer occupancy and retail sales are typically at their highest levels. In addition, shopping malls achieve a substantial portion of their specialty (temporary retailer) rents during the holiday season and the majority of percentage rent is recognized in the fourth quarter. As a result of the above, earnings are generally higher in the fourth quarter.
A recognized leader in sustainability, the Company has achieved the #1 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) ranking in the North American Retail Sector for five straight years 2015 – 2019. Additional information about the Company’s Environmental, Social and Governance programs can be obtained from the Company's website at www.macerich.com.
Available Information; Website Disclosure; Corporate Governance Documents
The Company's corporate website address is www.macerich.com. The Company makes available free-of-charge through this website its reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K and all amendments thereto, as soon as reasonably practicable after the reports have been filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. These reports are available under the heading "Investors—Financial Information—SEC Filings", through a free hyperlink to a third-party service. Information provided on our website is not incorporated by reference into this Form 10-K. The following documents relating to Corporate Governance are available on the Company's website at www.macerich.com under "Investors—Corporate Governance":
Guidelines on Corporate Governance
Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
Code of Ethics for CEO and Senior Financial Officers
Audit Committee Charter
Compensation Committee Charter
Executive Committee Charter
Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter
You may also request copies of any of these documents by writing to:
Attention: Corporate Secretary
The Macerich Company
401 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700
Santa Monica, CA 90401
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
The following factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking statements made in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and presented elsewhere by our management from time to time. This list should not be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks or uncertainties as it does not describe additional risks of which we are not presently aware or that we do not currently consider material. We may update our risk factors from time to time in our future periodic reports. Any of these factors may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, operating results and cash flows. For purposes of this “Risk Factor” section, Centers wholly owned by us are referred to as “Wholly Owned Centers” and Centers that are partly but not wholly owned by us are referred to as “Joint Venture Centers.”
RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS AND PROPERTIES
We invest primarily in shopping centers, which are subject to a number of significant risks that are beyond our control.
Real property investments are subject to varying degrees of risk that may affect the ability of our Centers to generate sufficient revenues to meet operating and other expenses, including debt service, lease payments, capital expenditures and tenant improvements, and to make distributions to us and our stockholders. A number of factors may decrease the income generated by the Centers, including:
•the national economic climate;
•the regional and local economy (which may be negatively impacted by rising unemployment, declining real estate values, increased foreclosures, higher taxes, plant closings, industry slowdowns, union activity, adverse weather conditions, natural disasters and other factors);
•local real estate conditions (such as an oversupply of, or a reduction in demand for, retail space or retail goods, decreases in rental rates, declining real estate values and the availability and creditworthiness of current and prospective tenants);
•decreased levels of consumer spending, consumer confidence, and seasonal spending (especially during the holiday season when many retailers generate a disproportionate amount of their annual sales);
•increasing use by customers of e-commerce and online store sites and the impact of internet sales on the demand for retail space;
•negative perceptions by retailers or shoppers of the safety, convenience and attractiveness of a Center;
•acts of violence, including terrorist activities; and
•increased costs of maintenance, insurance and operations (including real estate taxes).
Income from shopping center properties and shopping center values are also affected by applicable laws and regulations, including tax, environmental, safety and zoning laws.
A significant percentage of our Centers are geographically concentrated and, as a result, are sensitive to local economic and real estate conditions.
A significant percentage of our Centers are located in California and Arizona. Nine Centers in the aggregate are located in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. To the extent that weak economic or real estate conditions or other factors affect California, Arizona, New York, New Jersey or Connecticut (or their respective regions) more severely than other areas of the country, our financial performance could be negatively impacted.
We are in a competitive business.
Numerous owners, developers and managers of malls, shopping centers and other retail-oriented real estate compete with us for the acquisition of properties and in attracting tenants or Anchors to occupy space. There are a number of other publicly traded mall companies and several large private mall companies in the United States, any of which under certain circumstances could compete against us for an Anchor or a tenant. In addition, these companies, as well as other REITs, private real estate companies or investors compete with us in terms of property acquisitions. This results in competition both for the acquisition of properties or centers and for tenants or Anchors to occupy space. Competition for property acquisitions may result in increased purchase prices and may adversely affect our ability to make suitable property acquisitions on favorable terms or at all. The existence of competing shopping centers could have a material adverse impact on our ability to lease space and on the rental rates that can be achieved. There is also increasing competition for tenants and shoppers from other retail formats and technologies, such as lifestyle centers, power centers, outlet centers, e-commerce, home shopping networks, catalogs, telemarketing and discount shopping clubs that could adversely affect our revenues.
We may be unable to renew leases, lease vacant space or re-let space as leases expire on favorable terms or at all, which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
There are no assurances that our leases will be renewed or that vacant space in our Centers will be re-let at net effective rental rates equal to or above the current average net effective rental rates or that substantial rent abatements, tenant improvements, early termination rights or below-market renewal options will not be offered to attract new tenants or retain existing tenants. If the rental rates at our Centers decrease, if our existing tenants do not renew their leases or if we do not re-let a significant portion of our available space and space for which leases will expire, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
If Anchors or other significant tenants experience a downturn in their business, close or sell stores or declare bankruptcy, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected if a downturn in the business of, or the bankruptcy or insolvency of, an Anchor or other significant tenant leads them to close retail stores or terminate their leases after seeking protection under the bankruptcy laws from their creditors, including us as lessor. In recent years, a number of companies in the retail industry, including some of our tenants, have declared bankruptcy, have gone out of business, have significantly reduced their brick-and-mortar presence or failed to comply with their contractual obligations to us and others. If one of our tenants files for bankruptcy, we may not be able to collect amounts owed by that party prior to filing for bankruptcy. We may make lease modifications either pre- or post-bankruptcy for certain tenants undergoing significant financial distress in order for them to continue as a going concern. In addition, after filing for bankruptcy, a tenant may terminate any or all of its leases with us, in which event we would have a general unsecured claim against such tenant that would likely be worth less than the full amount owed to us for the remainder of the lease term. Furthermore, we may be required to incur significant expense in re-letting the space vacated by a bankrupt tenant and may not be able to release the space on similar terms or at all. The bankruptcy of a tenant, particularly an Anchor, may require a substantial redevelopment of their space, the success of which cannot be assured, and may make the re-letting of their space difficult and costly, and it may also be difficult to lease the remainder of the space at the affected property.
On October 15, 2018, Sears filed for bankruptcy and announced additional store closings. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, we had 21 Sears stores in our portfolio totaling approximately 3.1 million square feet and accounting for less than 1% of the Company’s total leasing revenue. As of December 31, 2019, we recaptured ten Sears locations, including seven through our joint venture with Seritage Growth Properties ("Seritage"), through formal lease rejections and lease terminations. We anticipate aggregate redevelopment investments at several of these locations of $130.0 million to $160.0 million (at our pro rata share) over the next several years. New tenants are expected to open at several projects in 2020. In early 2020, Sears will be closing five additional locations, including three stores in which we have an ownership interest and two that are owned by
Seritage and not by us. Sears will continue to pay rent on these locations in which we have an ownership interest. We are actively seeking replacement tenants for these Company-owned sites. Although, in the short-term, the bankruptcy of an Anchor such as Sears may lead to lost base rent and the triggering of co-tenancy clauses, there is also the potential to create additional future value through the recapturing of space and releasing that space to new tenants at higher rents per square foot, which we have demonstrated through our joint venture with Seritage and the completed redevelopment of a former Sears store at Kings Plaza Shopping Center in July 2018.
On September 29, 2019, Forever 21, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, we had 29 Forever 21 stores in our portfolio totaling approximately 1.2 million square feet. As of December 31, 2019, Forever 21 stores represented 1.4% of our total minimum and percentage rental revenues. We are in ongoing discussions with Forever 21 regarding the status of these stores. Based on a court filing dated October 28, 2019, we expect that four of the Forever 21 stores will close, three of which are owned by us, and one of which is not owned by us. We anticipate that we may provide certain rent concessions in connection with a number of the remaining stores. We are actively seeking replacement tenants for these Company-owned sites.
Furthermore, certain department stores and other national retailers have experienced, and may continue to experience, decreases in customer traffic in their retail stores, increased competition from alternative retail options such as e-commerce and other forms of pressure on their business models. If the store sales of retailers operating at our Centers decline significantly due to adverse economic conditions or for any other reason, tenants might be unable to pay their minimum rents or expense recovery charges. In the event of a default by a lessee, the affected Center may experience delays and costs in enforcing its rights as lessor.
Anchors and/or tenants at one or more Centers might also terminate their leases as a result of mergers, acquisitions, consolidations or dispositions in the retail industry. The sale of an Anchor or store to a less desirable retailer may reduce occupancy levels, customer traffic and rental income. Depending on economic conditions, there is also a risk that Anchors or other significant tenants may sell stores operating in our Centers or consolidate duplicate or geographically overlapping store locations. Store closures by an Anchor and/or a significant number of tenants may allow other Anchors and/or certain other tenants to terminate their leases, receive reduced rent and/or cease operating their stores at the Center or otherwise adversely affect occupancy at the Center.
Our real estate acquisition, development and redevelopment strategies may not be successful.
Our historical growth in revenues, net income and funds from operations has been in part tied to the acquisition, development and redevelopment of shopping centers. Many factors, including the availability and cost of capital, our total amount of debt outstanding, our ability to obtain financing on attractive terms, if at all, interest rates and the availability of attractive acquisition targets, among others, will affect our ability to acquire, develop and redevelop additional properties in the future. We may not be successful in pursuing acquisition opportunities, and newly acquired properties may not perform as well as expected. Expenses arising from our efforts to complete acquisitions, develop and redevelop properties or increase our market penetration may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. We face competition for acquisitions primarily from other REITs, as well as from private real estate companies or investors. Some of our competitors have greater financial and other resources. Increased competition for shopping center acquisitions may result in increased purchase prices and may impact adversely our ability to acquire additional properties on favorable terms. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to implement our growth strategy successfully or manage our expanded operations effectively and profitably.
We may not be able to achieve the anticipated financial and operating results from newly acquired assets. Some of the factors that could affect anticipated results are:
•our ability to integrate and manage new properties, including increasing occupancy rates and rents at such properties;
•the disposal of non-core assets within an expected time frame; and
•our ability to raise long-term financing to implement a capital structure at a cost of capital consistent with our business strategy.
Our business strategy also includes the selective development and construction of retail properties. On a selective basis, our business strategy may include mixed-use densification to maximize space at our Regional Shopping Centers, including by developing available land at our Regional Shopping Centers or by demolishing underperforming department store boxes and redeveloping the land. Any development, redevelopment and construction activities that we may undertake will be subject to the risks of real estate development, including lack of financing, construction delays, environmental requirements, budget overruns, sunk costs and lease-up. Furthermore, occupancy rates and rents at a newly completed property may not be
sufficient to make the property profitable. Real estate development activities are also subject to risks relating to the inability to obtain, or delays in obtaining, all necessary zoning, land-use, building, and occupancy and other required governmental permits and authorizations. Additionally, if we elect to pursue a "mixed-use" redevelopment, we expose ourselves to risks associated with each non-retail use (e.g., office, residential, hotel and entertainment). If any of the above events occur, our ability to pay dividends to our stockholders and service our indebtedness could be adversely affected.
Excess space at our properties could materially and adversely affect us.
Certain of our properties have had excess space available for prospective tenants, and those properties may continue to experience, and other properties may commence experiencing, such oversupply in the future. Among other causes, (1) there has been an increased number of bankruptcies of Anchors and other national retailers, as well as store closures, and (2) there has been lower demand from retail tenants for space, due to certain retailers increasing their use of e-commerce websites to distribute their merchandise. As a result of the increased bargaining power of creditworthy retail tenants, there is a downward pressure on our rental rates and occupancy levels, and this increased bargaining power may also result in us having to increase our spend on tenant improvements and potentially make other lease modifications, any of which, in the aggregate, could materially and adversely affect us.
Real estate investments are relatively illiquid and we may be unable to sell properties at the time we desire and on favorable terms.
Investments in real estate are relatively illiquid, which limits our ability to adjust our portfolio in response to changes in economic, market or other conditions. Moreover, there are some limitations under federal income tax laws applicable to REITs that limit our ability to sell assets. In addition, because our properties are generally mortgaged to secure our debts, we may not be able to obtain a release of a lien on a mortgaged property without the payment of the associated debt and/or a substantial prepayment penalty, which restricts our ability to dispose of a property, even though the sale might otherwise be desirable. Furthermore, the number of prospective buyers interested in purchasing shopping centers is limited. Therefore, if we want to sell one or more of our Centers, we may not be able to dispose of it in the desired time period and may receive less consideration than we originally invested in the Center.
Our real estate assets may be subject to impairment charges.
We periodically assess whether there are any indicators, including property operating performance, changes in anticipated holding period and general market conditions, that the value of our real estate assets and other investments may be impaired. A property’s value is considered to be impaired only if the estimated aggregate future undiscounted and unleveraged property cash flows, taking into account the anticipated probability weighted average holding period, are less than the carrying value of the property. In our estimate of cash flows, we consider trends and prospects for a property and the effects of demand and competition on expected future operating income. If we are evaluating the potential sale of an asset or redevelopment alternatives, the undiscounted future cash flows consider the most likely course of action as of the balance sheet date based on current plans, intended holding periods and available market information. We are required to make subjective assessments as to whether there are impairments in the value of our real estate assets and other investments. Impairment charges have an immediate direct impact on our earnings. There can be no assurance that we will not take additional charges in the future related to the impairment of our assets. Any future impairment could have a material adverse effect on our operating results in the period in which the charge is recognized.
Our success depends, in part, on our ability to attract and retain talented employees, and the loss of any one of our key personnel could adversely impact our business.
The success of our business depends, in part, on the leadership and performance of our executive management team and key employees, and our ability to attract, retain and motivate talented employees could significantly impact our future performance. Competition for these individuals is intense, and we cannot assure you that we will retain our executive management team and key employees or that we will be able to attract and retain other highly qualified individuals for these positions in the future. Losing any one or more of these persons could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Possible environmental liabilities could adversely affect us.
Under various federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances on, under or in that real property. These laws often impose liability whether or not the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of hazardous or toxic substances. The costs of investigation, removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances may be substantial. In addition, the presence of hazardous or toxic substances, or the failure to remedy environmental hazards
properly, may adversely affect the owner's or operator's ability to sell or rent affected real property or to borrow money using affected real property as collateral.
Persons or entities that arrange for the disposal or treatment of hazardous or toxic substances may also be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances at the disposal or treatment facility, whether or not that facility is owned or operated by the person or entity arranging for the disposal or treatment of hazardous or toxic substances. Laws exist that impose liability for release of asbestos containing materials (“ACMs”) into the air, and third parties may seek recovery from owners or operators of real property for personal injury associated with exposure to ACMs. In connection with our ownership, operation, management, development and redevelopment of the Centers, or any other centers or properties we acquire in the future, we may be potentially liable under these laws and may incur costs in responding to these liabilities.
Some of our properties are subject to potential natural or other disasters.
Some of our Centers are located in areas that are subject to natural disasters, including our Centers in California or in other areas with higher risk of earthquakes, our Centers in flood plains or in areas that may be adversely affected by tornadoes, as well as our Centers in coastal regions that may be adversely affected by increases in sea levels or in the frequency or severity of hurricanes, tropical storms or other severe weather conditions. The occurrence of natural disasters can delay redevelopment or development projects, increase investment costs to repair or replace damaged properties, increase future property insurance costs and negatively impact the tenant demand for lease space. If insurance is unavailable to us or is unavailable on acceptable terms, or our insurance is not adequate to cover losses from these events, our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Uninsured losses could adversely affect our financial condition.
Each of our Centers has comprehensive liability, fire, extended coverage and rental loss insurance with insured limits customarily carried for similar properties. We do not insure certain types of losses (such as losses from wars), because they are either uninsurable or not economically insurable. In addition, while we or the relevant joint venture, as applicable, carry specific earthquake insurance on the Centers located in California, the policies are subject to a deductible equal to 5% of the total insured value of each Center, a $100,000 per occurrence minimum and a combined annual aggregate loss limit of $100 million on these Centers. We or the relevant joint venture, as applicable, carry specific earthquake insurance on the Centers located in the Pacific Northwest and in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. However, the policies are subject to a deductible equal to 2% of the total insured value of each Center, a $50,000 per occurrence minimum and a combined annual aggregate loss limit of $100 million on these Centers. While we or the relevant joint venture also carries standalone terrorism insurance on the Centers, the policies are subject to a $25,000 deductible and a combined annual aggregate loss limit of $1.0 billion. Each Center has environmental insurance covering eligible third-party losses, remediation and non-owned disposal sites, subject to a $100,000 retention and a $50 million three-year aggregate loss limit, with the exception of one Center, which has a $5 million ten-year aggregate loss limit and another Center has a $20 million ten-year aggregate loss limit. Some environmental losses are not covered by this insurance because they are uninsurable or not economically insurable. Furthermore, we carry title insurance on substantially all of the Centers for generally less than their full value.
If an uninsured loss or a loss in excess of insured limits occurs, we could lose all or a portion of the capital we have invested in a property, as well as the anticipated future revenue from the property, but may remain obligated for any mortgage debt or other financial obligations related to the property.
We face risks associated with and have been the target of security breaches through cyber attacks, cyber intrusions or otherwise, as well as other significant disruptions of our information technology (IT) networks and related systems.
We face risks associated with and have been the target of security breaches, whether through cyber attacks or cyber intrusions over the Internet, malware, computer viruses, attachments to e-mails, persons inside our organization or persons with access to systems inside our organization, and other significant disruptions of our IT networks and related systems. The risk of a security breach or disruption, particularly through cyber attack or cyber intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments and cyber terrorists, has generally increased as the number, intensity and sophistication of attempted attacks and intrusions from around the world have increased. Our IT networks and related systems are essential to the operation of our business and our ability to perform day-to-day operations and, in some cases, may be critical to the operations of certain of our tenants. Although we make efforts to maintain the security and integrity of these types of IT networks and related systems, and we have implemented various measures to manage the risk of a security breach or disruption, there can be no assurance that our security efforts and measures will be effective or that attempted security breaches or disruptions would not be successful or damaging. A security breach or other significant disruption involving our IT networks and related systems could disrupt the proper functioning of our networks and systems; result in misstated financial reports, violations of loan covenants and/or missed reporting deadlines; result in our inability to properly monitor our compliance with the rules and regulations regarding our qualification as a REIT; result in the unauthorized access to, and destruction, loss, theft, misappropriation or release of
proprietary, confidential, sensitive or otherwise valuable information of ours or others, which others could use to compete against us or for disruptive, destructive or otherwise harmful purposes and outcomes; require significant management attention and resources to remedy any damages that result; subject us to claims for breach of contract, damages, credits, penalties or termination of leases or other agreements; or damage our reputation among our tenants and investors generally. Moreover, cyber attacks perpetrated against our Anchors and tenants, including unauthorized access to customers’ credit card data and other confidential information, could diminish consumer confidence and consumer spending and negatively impact our business.
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and fire, safety and other regulations may require us to make expenditures that adversely affect our cash flows.
All of the properties in our portfolio are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The ADA has separate compliance requirements for “public accommodations” and “commercial facilities,” but generally requires that buildings be made accessible to people with disabilities. Compliance with the ADA requirements could require removal of access barriers, and non-compliance could result in the imposition of fines by the United States government or an award of damages to private litigants, or both. While the tenants to whom our portfolio is leased are obligated to comply with ADA provisions, within their leased premises, if required changes within their leased premises involve greater expenditures than anticipated, or if the changes must be made on a more accelerated basis than anticipated, the ability of tenants to cover costs could be adversely affected. Furthermore, we are required to comply with ADA requirements within the common areas of the properties in our portfolio and we may not be able to pass on to our tenants any costs necessary to remediate any common area ADA issues. As a result, we could be required to expend funds to comply with the provisions of the ADA, which could adversely affect our financial condition and operating results. In addition, we are required to operate the properties in compliance with fire and safety regulations, building codes and other land use regulations, as they may be adopted by governmental agencies and bodies and become applicable to our portfolio. We may be required to make substantial capital expenditures to comply with, and we may be restricted in our ability to renovate or redevelop the properties subject to, those requirements. The resulting expenditures and restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our ability to meet our financial obligations.
Possible terrorist activity or other acts or threats of violence and threats to public safety could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Terrorist attacks and threats of terrorist attacks in the United States or other acts or threats of violence may result in declining economic activity, which could harm the demand for goods and services offered by our tenants and the value of our properties and might adversely affect the value of an investment in our securities. Such a resulting decrease in retail demand could make it difficult for us to renew or re-lease our properties.
Terrorist activities or violence also could directly affect the value of our properties through damage, destruction or loss, and the availability of insurance for such acts, or of insurance generally, might be reduced or cost more, which could increase our operating expenses and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. To the extent that our tenants are affected by such attacks and threats of attacks, their businesses similarly could be adversely affected, including their ability to continue to meet obligations under their existing leases. These acts and threats might erode business and consumer confidence and spending and might result in increased volatility in national and international financial markets and economies. Any one of these events might decrease demand for real estate, decrease or delay the occupancy of our new or redeveloped properties, and limit our access to capital or increase our cost of raising capital.
Inflation may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
If inflation increases in the future, we may experience any or all of the following:
•Difficulty in replacing or renewing expiring leases with new leases at higher rents;
•Decreasing tenant sales as a result of decreased consumer spending which could adversely affect the ability of our tenants to meet their rent obligations and/or result in lower percentage rents; and
•An inability to receive reimbursement from our tenants for their share of certain operating expenses, including common area maintenance, real estate taxes and insurance.
Inflation also poses a risk to us due to the possibility of future increases in interest rates. Such increases would adversely impact us due to our outstanding floating-rate debt as well as result in higher interest rates on new fixed-rate debt. In certain cases, we may limit our exposure to interest rate fluctuations related to a portion of our floating-rate debt by the use of interest rate cap and swap agreements. Such agreements, subject to current market conditions, allow us to replace floating-rate debt with fixed-rate debt in order to achieve our desired ratio of floating-rate to fixed-rate debt. However, in an increasing
interest rate environment the fixed rates we can obtain with such replacement fixed-rate cap and swap agreements or the fixed-rate on new debt will also continue to increase.
We have substantial debt that could affect our future operations.
Our total outstanding loan indebtedness at December 31, 2019 was $8.1 billion (consisting of $5.2 billion of consolidated debt, less $359.1 million attributable to noncontrolling interests, plus $3.2 billion of our pro rata share of mortgages and other notes payable on unconsolidated joint ventures). As a result of this substantial indebtedness, we are required to use a material portion of our cash flow to service principal and interest on our debt, which limits the amount of cash available for other business opportunities. We are also subject to the risks normally associated with debt financing, including the risk that our cash flow from operations will be insufficient to meet required debt service and that rising interest rates could adversely affect our debt service costs. In addition, our use of interest rate hedging arrangements may expose us to additional risks, including that the counterparty to the arrangement may fail to honor its obligations and that termination of these arrangements typically involves costs such as transaction fees or breakage costs. There can be no assurance that our hedging activities will have the desired impact on our results of operations, liquidity or financial condition. Furthermore, most of our Centers are mortgaged to secure payment of indebtedness, and if income from the Center is insufficient to pay that indebtedness, the Center could be foreclosed upon by the mortgagee resulting in a loss of income and a decline in our total asset value. Certain Centers also have debt that could become recourse debt to us if the Center is unable to discharge such debt obligation and, in certain circumstances, we may incur liability with respect to such debt greater than our legal ownership.
We are obligated to comply with financial and other covenants that could affect our operating activities.
Our unsecured credit facilities contain financial covenants, including interest coverage requirements, as well as limitations on our ability to incur debt, make dividend payments and make certain acquisitions. These covenants may restrict our ability to pursue certain business initiatives or certain transactions that might otherwise be advantageous. In addition, failure to meet certain of these financial covenants could cause an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could accelerate some or all of such indebtedness which could have a material adverse effect on us.
We depend on external financings for our growth and ongoing debt service requirements.
We depend primarily on external financings, principally debt financings and, in more limited circumstances, equity financings, to fund the growth of our business and to ensure that we can meet ongoing maturities of our outstanding debt. Our access to financing depends on the willingness of banks, lenders and other institutions to lend to us based on their underwriting criteria which can fluctuate with market conditions and on conditions in the capital markets in general. In addition, levels of market disruption and volatility could materially adversely impact our ability to access the capital markets for equity financings.
There are no assurances that we will continue to be able to obtain the financing we need for future growth or to meet our debt service as obligations mature, or that the financing will be available to us on acceptable terms, or at all. Any debt refinancing could also impose more restrictive terms.
We may be adversely affected by the potential discontinuation of LIBOR.
In July 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (the “FCA”) announced it intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. As a result, the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York organized the Alternative Reference Rates Committee which identified the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) as its preferred alternative to USD-LIBOR. We are not able to predict when LIBOR will cease to be published or precisely how SOFR will be calculated and published. Any changes adopted by the FCA or other governing bodies in the method used for determining LIBOR may result in a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in reported LIBOR. If that were to occur, our interest payments could change. In addition, uncertainty about the extent and manner of future changes may result in interest rates and/or payments that are higher or lower than if LIBOR were to remain available in its current form.
We have contracts that are indexed to LIBOR and are monitoring and evaluating the related risks, which include interest amounts on our variable rate debt, the variable rate debt of our joint ventures and the swap rate for our interest rate swaps. In the event that LIBOR is discontinued, the interest rates will be based on an alternative variable rate specified in the applicable documentation governing such debt or swaps or as otherwise agreed upon. Such an event would not affect our ability to borrow or maintain already outstanding borrowings or swaps, but the alternative variable rate could be higher and more volatile than LIBOR prior to its discontinuance.
Certain risks arise in connection with transitioning contracts to an alternative variable rate, including any resulting value transfer that may occur. The value of loans, securities, or derivative instruments tied to LIBOR could also be impacted if LIBOR is limited or discontinued. For some instruments, the method of transitioning to an alternative rate may be challenging, as they may require substantial negotiation with each respective counterparty.
If a contract is not transitioned to an alternative variable rate and LIBOR is discontinued, the impact is likely to vary by contract. If LIBOR is discontinued or if the method of calculating LIBOR changes from its current form, interest rates on our current or future indebtedness may be adversely affected.
While we expect LIBOR to be available in substantially its current form until the end of 2021, it is possible that LIBOR will become unavailable prior to that point. This could result, for example, if sufficient banks decline to make submissions to the LIBOR administrator. In that case, the risks associated with the transition to an alternative variable rate will be accelerated and magnified.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
Certain individuals have substantial influence over the management of both us and the Operating Partnership, which may create conflicts of interest.
Under the limited partnership agreement of the Operating Partnership, we, as the sole general partner, are responsible for the management of the Operating Partnership's business and affairs. Conflicts of interest may exist or could arise in the future as a result of the relationships between us and our affiliates, on the one hand, and our Operating Partnership or any of its partners, on the other. Our directors and officers have duties to our Company under Maryland law in connection with their management of our Company. At the same time, we have duties and obligations to our Operating Partnership and its limited partners under Delaware law as modified by the partnership agreement of our Operating Partnership in connection with the management of our Operating Partnership as the sole general partner. Our duties and obligations as the general partner of our Operating Partnership may come into conflict with the duties of our directors and officers to our Company and our stockholders.
Outside partners in Joint Venture Centers result in additional risks to our stockholders.
We own partial interests in property partnerships that own 23 Joint Venture Centers as well as several development sites. We may acquire partial interests in additional properties through joint venture arrangements. Investments in Joint Venture Centers involve risks different from those of investments in Wholly Owned Centers.
We have fiduciary responsibilities to our joint venture partners that could affect decisions concerning the Joint Venture Centers. Our partners in certain Joint Venture Centers (notwithstanding our majority legal ownership) share control of major decisions relating to the Joint Venture Centers, including decisions with respect to sales, refinancings and the timing and amount of additional capital contributions, as well as decisions that could have an adverse impact on us.
In addition, we may lose our management and other rights relating to the Joint Venture Centers if:
•we fail to contribute our share of additional capital needed by the property partnerships; or
•we default under a partnership agreement for a property partnership or other agreements relating to the property partnerships or the Joint Venture Centers.
Furthermore, the bankruptcy of one of the other investors in our Joint Venture Centers could materially and adversely affect the respective property or properties. Pursuant to the bankruptcy code, we could be precluded from taking some actions affecting the estate of the other investor without prior court approval which would, in most cases, entail prior notice to other parties and a hearing. At a minimum, the requirement to obtain court approval may delay the actions we would or might want to take. If the relevant joint venture through which we have invested in a Joint Venture Center has incurred recourse obligations, the discharge in bankruptcy of one of the other investors might result in our ultimate liability for a greater portion of those obligations than would otherwise be required.
Our legal ownership interest in a joint venture vehicle may, at times, not equal our economic interest in the entity because of various provisions in certain joint venture agreements regarding distributions of cash flow based on capital account balances, allocations of profits and losses and payments of preferred returns. As a result, our actual economic interest (as distinct from our legal ownership interest) in certain of the Joint Venture Centers could fluctuate from time to time and may not wholly align with our legal ownership interests. Substantially all of our joint venture agreements contain rights of first refusal, buy-sell provisions, exit rights, default dilution remedies and/or other break up provisions or remedies which are customary in real estate joint venture agreements and which may, positively or negatively, affect the ultimate realization of cash flow and/or capital or liquidation proceeds.
Our holding company structure makes us dependent on distributions from the Operating Partnership.
Because we conduct our operations through the Operating Partnership, our ability to service our debt obligations and pay dividends to our stockholders is strictly dependent upon the earnings and cash flows of the Operating Partnership and the ability of the Operating Partnership to make distributions to us. Under the Delaware Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, the Operating Partnership is prohibited from making any distribution to us to the extent that at the time of the distribution, after giving effect to the distribution, all liabilities of the Operating Partnership (other than some non-recourse liabilities and some liabilities to the partners) exceed the fair value of the assets of the Operating Partnership. An inability to make cash distributions from the Operating Partnership could jeopardize our ability to maintain qualification as a REIT.
An ownership limit and certain of our Charter and bylaw provisions could inhibit a change of control or reduce the value of our common stock.
The Ownership Limit. In order for us to maintain our qualification as a REIT, not more than 50% in value of our outstanding stock (after taking into account certain options to acquire stock) may be owned, directly or indirectly or through the application of certain attribution rules, by five or fewer individuals (as defined in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, (the "Code") to include some entities that would not ordinarily be considered “individuals”) at any time during the last half of a taxable year. To assist us in maintaining our qualification as a REIT, among other purposes, our Charter restricts ownership of more than 5% (the “Ownership Limit”) of the lesser of the number or value of our outstanding shares of stock by any single stockholder or a group of stockholders (with limited exceptions). In addition to enhancing preservation of our status as a REIT, the Ownership Limit may:
•have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us or other transaction without the approval of our board of directors, even if the change in control or other transaction is in the best interests of our stockholders; and
•limit the opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their common stock or preferred stock that they might otherwise receive if an investor were attempting to acquire a block of stock in excess of the Ownership Limit or otherwise effect a change in control of us.
Our board of directors, in its sole discretion, may waive or modify (subject to limitations and upon any conditions as it may direct) the Ownership Limit with respect to one or more of our stockholders, if it is satisfied that ownership in excess of this limit will not jeopardize our status as a REIT.
Selected Provisions of our Charter and bylaws. Some of the provisions of our Charter and bylaws may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a third party from making an acquisition proposal for us and may inhibit a change in control that holders of some, or a majority, of our shares might believe to be in their best interests or that could give our stockholders the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market prices for our shares. These provisions include the following:
•advance notice requirements for stockholder nominations of directors and stockholder proposals to be considered at stockholder meetings;
•the obligation of our directors to consider a variety of factors with respect to a proposed business combination or other change of control transaction;
•the authority of our directors to classify or reclassify unissued shares and cause the Company to issue shares of one or more classes or series of common stock or preferred stock;
•the authority of our directors to create and cause the Company to issue rights entitling the holders thereof to purchase shares of stock or other securities from us; and
•limitations on the amendment of our Charter, the change in control of us, and the liability of our directors and officers.
Certain provisions of Maryland law could inhibit a change in control or reduce the value of our common stock.
Certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”) may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a third party from making an acquisition proposal for us and may inhibit a change in control that holders of some, or a majority, of our shares might believe to be in their best interests or that could give our stockholders the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market prices for our shares, including:
•“Business Combination” provisions that, subject to limitations, prohibit certain business combinations between us and an “interested stockholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of our outstanding voting stock or an affiliate or associate of ours who, at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of our then outstanding stock) or an affiliate of an interested stockholder for five years after the most recent date on which the stockholder becomes an interested stockholder, and thereafter may impose special appraisal rights and special stockholder voting requirements on these combinations; and
•“Control Share” provisions that provide that holders of “control shares” of our Company (defined as shares which, when aggregated with other shares controlled by the stockholder, entitle the stockholder to exercise one of three increasing ranges of voting power in electing directors) acquired in a “control share acquisition” (defined as the direct or indirect acquisition of ownership or control of “control shares”) have no voting rights except to the extent approved by our stockholders by the affirmative vote of at least two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding all interested shares.
As permitted by the MGCL, our Charter exempts from the “business combination” provisions any business combination between us and the principals and their respective affiliates and related persons. The MGCL also allows the board of directors to exempt particular business combinations before the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. Furthermore, a person is not an interested stockholder if the transaction by which he or she would otherwise have become an interested stockholder is approved in advance by the board of directors.
Additionally, pursuant to a provision in our bylaws, we have opted out of the “control share” acquisition provisions of the MGCL. However, in the future, we may, without the approval of our stockholders, by amendment to our bylaws, opt in to the control share provisions of the MGCL. The MGCL and our Charter also contain supermajority voting requirements with respect to our ability to amend certain provisions of our Charter, merge, or sell all or substantially all of our assets.
Furthermore, our board of directors has adopted a resolution prohibiting us from electing to be subject to the provisions of Title 3, Subtitle 8 of the MGCL that would, among other things, permit our board of directors to classify the board without stockholder approval. Such provisions of Title 3, Subtitle 8 of the MGCL could have an anti-takeover effect. We may only elect to be subject to the classified board provisions of Title 3, Subtitle 8 after first obtaining the approval of our stockholders.
FEDERAL INCOME TAX RISKS
The tax consequences of the sale of some of the Centers and certain holdings of the principals may create conflicts of interest.
The principals will experience negative tax consequences if some of the Centers are sold. As a result, the principals may not favor a sale of these Centers even though such a sale may benefit our other stockholders. In addition, the principals may have different interests than our stockholders because they are significant holders of limited partnership units in the Operating Partnership.
If we were to fail to qualify as a REIT, we would have reduced funds available for distributions to our stockholders.
We believe that we currently qualify as a REIT. No assurance can be given that we will remain qualified as a REIT. Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which there are only limited judicial or administrative interpretations. The complexity of these provisions and of the applicable income tax regulations is greater in the case of a REIT structure like ours that holds assets through the Operating Partnership and joint ventures. The determination of various factual matters and circumstances not entirely within our control, including determinations by our partners in the Joint Venture Centers, may affect our continued qualification as a REIT. In addition, legislation, new regulations, administrative interpretations or court decisions could significantly change the tax laws with respect to our qualification as a REIT or the U.S. federal income tax consequences of that qualification.
In addition, we currently hold certain of our properties through subsidiaries that have elected to be taxed as REITs and we may in the future determine that it is in our best interests to hold one or more of our other properties through one or more subsidiaries that elect to be taxed as REITs. If any of these subsidiaries fails to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, then we may also fail to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes.
If in any taxable year we were to fail to qualify as a REIT, we will suffer the following negative results:
•we will not be allowed a deduction for distributions to stockholders in computing our taxable income; and
•we will be subject to U.S. federal and state income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates.
In addition, if we were to lose our REIT status, we would be prohibited from qualifying as a REIT for the four taxable years following the year during which the qualification was lost, absent relief under statutory provisions. As a result, net income and the funds available for distributions to our stockholders would be reduced for at least five years and the fair market value of our shares could be materially adversely affected. Furthermore, the Internal Revenue Service could challenge our REIT status for past periods. Such a challenge, if successful, could result in us owing a material amount of tax, interest and penalties for prior periods. It is possible that future economic, market, legal, tax or other considerations might cause our board of directors to revoke our REIT election.
Even if we remain qualified as a REIT, we might face other tax liabilities that reduce our cash flow. Further, we might be subject to federal, state and local taxes on our income and property. Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for distributions to stockholders.
Complying with REIT requirements might cause us to forego otherwise attractive opportunities.
In order to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes, we must satisfy tests concerning, among other things, our sources of income, the nature of our assets, the amounts we distribute to our stockholders and the ownership of our stock. We may also be required to make distributions to our stockholders at disadvantageous times or when we do not have funds readily available for distribution. Thus, compliance with REIT requirements may cause us to forego opportunities we would otherwise pursue.
In addition, the REIT provisions of the Code impose a 100% tax on income from “prohibited transactions.” Prohibited transactions generally include sales of assets that do not qualify for a statutory safe harbor if such assets constitute inventory or other property held for sale in the ordinary course of business, other than foreclosure property. This 100% tax could impact our desire to sell assets and other investments at otherwise opportune times if we believe such sales could be considered prohibited transactions.
Complying with REIT requirements may force us to borrow or take other measures to make distributions to our stockholders.
As a REIT, we generally must distribute 90% of our annual taxable income (subject to certain adjustments) to our stockholders. From time to time, we might generate taxable income greater than our net income for financial reporting purposes, or our taxable income might be greater than our cash flow available for distributions to our stockholders. If we do not have other funds available in these situations, we might be unable to distribute 90% of our taxable income as required by the REIT rules. In that case, we would need to borrow funds, liquidate or sell a portion of our properties or investments (potentially at disadvantageous or unfavorable prices), in certain limited cases distribute a combination of cash and stock (at our stockholders' election but subject to an aggregate cash limit established by the Company) or find another alternative source of funds. These alternatives could increase our costs or reduce our equity. In addition, to the extent we borrow funds to pay distributions, the amount of cash available to us in future periods will be decreased by the amount of cash flow we will need to service principal and interest on the amounts we borrow, which will limit cash flow available to us for other investments or business opportunities.
We may face risks in connection with Section 1031 Exchanges.
If a transaction intended to qualify as a Section 1031 Exchange is later determined to be taxable, we may face adverse consequences, and if the laws applicable to such transactions are amended or repealed, we may not be able to dispose of properties on a tax deferred basis. Section 1031 Exchanges now only apply to real property and do not apply to any related personal property transferred with the real property. As a result, any appreciated personal property that is transferred in connection with a Section 1031 Exchange of real property will cause gain to be recognized, and such gain is generally treated as non-qualifying income for the 95% and 75% gross income tests. Any such non-qualifying income could have an adverse effect on our REIT status.
If our Operating Partnership fails to maintain its status as a partnership for tax purposes, we would face adverse tax consequences.
We intend to maintain the status of the Operating Partnership as a partnership for federal income tax purposes. However, if the Internal Revenue Service were to successfully challenge the status of the Operating Partnership as an entity taxable as a partnership, the Operating Partnership would be taxable as a corporation. This would reduce the amount of distributions that the Operating Partnership could make to us. This could also result in our losing REIT status, with the consequences described above. This would substantially reduce the cash available to us to make distributions and the return on your investment. In addition, if any of the partnerships or limited liability companies through which the Operating Partnership owns its property, in whole or in part, loses its characterization as a partnership or disregarded entity for federal income tax
purposes, it would be subject to taxation as a corporation, thereby reducing distributions to the Operating Partnership. Such a recharacterization of an underlying entity could also threaten our ability to maintain REIT status.
The TCJA substantially modified the taxation of REITs and their shareholders, and the effects of such legislation and related regulatory action are uncertain.
The TCJA makes major changes to the Code, including a number of provisions of the Code that affect the taxation of REITs and their stockholders. Among the changes made by the TCJA are permanently reducing the generally applicable corporate tax rate, generally reducing the tax rate applicable to individuals and other non-corporate taxpayers for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, eliminating or modifying certain previously allowed deductions (including substantially limiting interest deductibility and, for individuals, the deduction for non-business state and local taxes), and, for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2017 and before January 1, 2026, providing for preferential rates of taxation through a deduction of up to 20% (subject to certain limitations) on most ordinary REIT dividends and certain trade or business income of non-corporate taxpayers. The TCJA also imposes new limitations on the deduction of net operating losses and requires us to recognize income for tax purposes no later than when we take it into account on our financial statements, which may result in us having to make additional taxable distributions to our stockholders in order to comply with REIT distribution requirements or avoid taxes on retained income and gains. The effect of the significant changes made by the TCJA is highly uncertain, and administrative guidance will be required in order to fully evaluate the effect of many provisions. The effect of any technical corrections with respect to the TCJA could have an adverse effect on us or our stockholders. Investors should consult their tax advisors regarding the implications of the TCJA on their investment in our capital stock.
In recent years, numerous legislative, judicial and administrative changes have been made to the U.S. federal income tax laws applicable to investments similar to an investment in our stock. Additional changes to tax laws are likely to continue in the future, and we cannot assure you that any such changes will not adversely affect the taxation of us or our stockholders. Any such changes could have an adverse effect on an investment in our stock or on the market value or the resale potential of our properties.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
The following table sets forth certain information regarding the Centers and other locations that are wholly owned or partly owned by the Company as of December 31, 2019.
|Year of Most|
of Mall and
|Non-Owned Anchors (3)||Company-Owned Anchors (3)|
|CONSOLIDATED CENTERS:|| || || || |
|1 || ||50.1% || ||Chandler Fashion Center(4)||2001/2002||-||1,318,000 || ||633,000 || ||95.8 ||%||Dillard's, Macy's, Nordstrom||— || |
|2 || ||100% || ||Danbury Fair Mall||1986/2005||2016||1,271,000 || ||527,000 || ||93.2 ||%||JCPenney, Macy's||Dick's Sporting Goods, Forever 21(5), Lord & Taylor, Primark, Sears(6)|