RED BANK, N.J./LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Jan. 12, 2023) – First National Realty Partners (FNRP) achieved record retail leasing volume in 2022, propelled by two recent deals totaling approximately 152,500 square feet at Tropicana Centre in Las Vegas. For the calendar year, the nationally focused, Red Bank-based investment firm closed 105 new leases totaling nearly 538,000 square feet – a significant increase over 2021 and a reflection of notable portfolio growth as well as industry momentum.
“We saw a steady increase in transactions over the last three quarters,” said Fred Battisti, managing director and head of leasing for FNRP, which focuses on grocery-anchored and necessity-based retail. At Tropicana Centre, FNRP secured a new 18,721-square-foot commitment from WSS and a 10-year extension with Sam’s Club for 133,768 square feet.
“Beyond their sizes, the Tropicana Centre transactions are significant because we negotiated them while in the process of acquiring the property,” Battisti noted, adding the sale closed in October. “The key to our vertically integrated business model is that we get in quickly and partner with anchors and other key tenants to make long-term deals. In this case, we were able to secure two very healthy credit tenants as we were finalizing the purchase. This jumpstarted our business plan and helped solidify the investment for our partners.”
A Record-Setting Year for Acquisitions and Leasing
In 2022, FNRP increased its market share significantly. The firm ended the year with a projected $1.5 billion in assets under management nationwide – including over $800 million in 2022 acquisitions. Today FNRP’s portfolio includes over 11.2 million square feet across 22 states.
FNRP’s rapid coast-to-coast expansion presented new opportunities – as well as challenges – for the leasing team. “It was tough to execute deals in multiple markets simultaneously, but we proved our ability to close deals all over the country,” said Battisti. New leases of note in the second half of 2022 also included:
Significant lease extensions included Lowe’s (126,917 SF) at Brook Highland Plaza, Planet Fitness (20,000 SF) at Crossroad’s South and Heinen’s Grocery Store (41,822 SF) at Shaker Towne Centre in Cleveland, Ohio.
Big-Box Sector Shows Continued Resilience
FNRP has built its acquisition strategy on the necessity of grocery-anchored essential retail assets and belief in its ability to weather economic changes. The dramatic increase in leasing activity reflects the firm’s growth as well as the continued strength of its target market.
“We’re seeing more and more depth in the big box sector, and I am constantly impressed with the resiliency of popular name brands that have been around for years,” said Battisti. “For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Barnes & Noble each plan to open dozens of new stores, accounting for millions of square feet of GLA, in 2023. Household names – from Whole Foods and TJ Maxx to PetSmart and Ross – have really persevered through the pandemic.”
Battisti noted that the strength of necessity-based businesses is continuing across all categories – from apparel, home goods and quick-serve restaurants to nutrition and specialty fitness.
FNRP provides accredited investors with access to real estate assets that traditionally have been available only to institutional investors. Specializing in grocery-anchored, necessity-based retail product, the Red Bank, N.J.-based firm sources opportunities both on and off-market nationwide. From acquisition to disposition, FNRP oversees the entire investment lifecycle 100% in-house, leveraging top talent in legal, acquisitions, leasing, and other key areas. The firm strives to achieve maximum value and attractive risk-adjusted returns for its partners.
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