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Taubman Centers CEO Discusses Q1 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Stocks in this article: TCO

Our US projects continue to move forward. With construction underway in Chesterfield and imminent in Sarasota and San Juan we have now begun to capitalize our investments in these three projects. Together they represent over $600 million of capital at our share that will create NAV.

Let's talk for a moment about each project individually. In Sarasota, the zoning is complete for the mall at University Town Center. We finalized our agreements with the landowner (inaudible) Development and will each own and fund 50% of the project. We'll be responsible for development, management and leasing of the center. The $350 million two level enclosed shopping center will be anchored by Saks, Macy's and Dillard's. The site has terrific visibility and regional access as its right on interstate 75 at the interchange of university parkway. The greater Sarasota market has over 1.2 million people and nearly five million tourists a year with limited upscale shopping opportunities. We think this is a tremendously underserved market, so much so that more than half the small shop space will be new to Sarasota.

The nearly 900,000 square foot center will begin construction later this year and is expected to open in the fall of 2014. We anticipate an 18.5% unlevered return on our investment.

In San Juan we will soon begin construction on Plaza Internacional. This $405 million, 640,000 square foot center will be the first upscale mall in Puerto Rico and the first location for both Nordstrom and Saks on the island. We are expected to be in site work this summer and are targeting a late 2014 opening. We will own at least 80% and up to a 100% of this center depending on the election of the landowner later this year. The landowners developing the casino hotel that will connect to and is expected to open with the center. The anticipated unlevered return is 8.5%. For both Sarasota and San Juan, we expect tenant sales performance in the top half of our portfolio.

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