The same tenants' sales per square foot increased 0.9% per square foot, while the national average tenant sales as reported by the International Council of Shopping Centers ("ICSC") for the 12-month period ended December 31, 2012, increased 2.0%. Primaris' sales productivity of $475 is lower than the ICSC average of $596, largely because the ICSC includes sales from super regional malls that have the highest sales per square foot in the country.
Primaris Retail REIT's property portfolio remains well leased.
The portfolio occupancy rate improved through the year. It was 97.7% at December 31, 2012, compared to 97.5% at September 30, 2012, and 97.1 % at December 31, 2011. These percentages include space for which signed leases are in place, but where the tenant may not yet be in occupancy.
During the fourth quarter of 2012, Primaris leased 340,492 square feet comprised of 240,347 square feet to 112 smaller tenants and the remainder to three major and anchor tenants. Approximately 53.6% of the space leased during the current quarter of 2012 resulted from the renewal of existing tenants (53.5% if the major tenants are excluded). The weighted average new rent for renewals of existing tenants in the current quarter, on a cash basis, represented an 11.1% increase over the previous rent (9.3% if the major tenants are excluded).
During 2012, Primaris leased 1,828,283 square feet comprised of 895,460 square feet to 514 smaller tenants and the remainder to 17 major and anchor tenants. Approximately 67.8% of the space leased during the 2012 year resulted from the renewal of existing tenants (65.5% if the major tenants are excluded). The weighted average new rent for renewals of existing tenants in the year, on a cash basis, represented a 6.0% increase over the previous rent (7.8% if the major tenants are excluded).
At December 31, 2012, Primaris had a weighted average term to maturity of leases of 5.3 years.
With respect to the four remaining Zellers' leases in Primaris' portfolio, two now terminate on April 30, 2013, the third terminates on June 30, 2013 and the fourth expires naturally on March 31, 2013. Our leasing and development teams are already at work on plans to make the most of the opportunity to bring new brands to the properties.
During 2009 and 2011, Primaris completed phases one and two of a three phase redevelopment at Lambton Mall in Sarnia, Ontario.
Work is well underway on the third phase of the Lambton Mall redevelopment. The project involves the redevelopment of the vacant anchor space (approximately 92,000 square feet), formerly occupied by Canadian Tire. Part of the existing building was demolished and will be replaced with a new Galaxy Theatre building comprising approximately 32,000 square feet, a Sport Chek which will occupy approximately 31,000 square feet and 1,000 square feet of commercial retail space. The plan also creates a new mall entrance next to H&M. The project includes the acquisition of the existing 5.9 acre Cineplex property located at 1450 London Road, adjacent to Lambton Mall. With the opening of the new Galaxy Theatre at Lambton Mall, Cineplex will close its existing theatre. This phase will cost approximately $16,000, including the purchase of 1450 London Road. A spring 2013 opening of both the Galaxy Theatre and the Sport Chek is expected.
The second phase of a redevelopment at Grant Park comprises a 5,000 square foot expansion of the shopping centre, re-leasing and remerchandising of approximately 23,000 square feet of other retail area, renovation and expansion of washrooms, and upgrade of an additional 5,000 square feet of common area. Landlord pre-construction activities commenced in September 2012. Common area improvements and washroom renovations are expected to be completed by spring 2013, and the expansion is expected to open in July 2013. This second phase has a $5,400 budget.
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