Major Kimco acquisition on Connecticut’s “Gold Coast”
The affluent town of Wilton, Conn., is home to Kimco’s latest acquisition, Wilton River Park. Kimco has acquired the remaining property on the 283,000-square-foot complex, after purchasing the Wilton Campus Shops portion in August 2012.
Wilton River Park comprises 20 acres of premier office and retail properties in Lower Fairfield County, a region known as Connecticut’s “Gold Coast” for its wealthy residents and upscale culture. There are several reasons why we targeted Wilton River Park, and which also demonstrate how investing in strong, suburban, secondary markets is a solid bet.
1. Consumers have high household incomes. Some of the nation’s wealthiest zip codes are in Southwestern Connecticut, where many New York City workers live. The top 5 percent of households in Fairfield County earned 28.16 percent of the county’s wealth. The average annual income for households in a three-mile radius around Wilton River Park is $241,453, according to data obtained through SitesUSA. This naturally translates to financially stable consumers who have disposable income, attracting national and high-end retailers to the area.
2. Wilton River Park is a community hub. The property is known as the heart of town, where many consumers shop, work, and play. Wilton River Park is anchored by Stop & Shop and includes several other national retailers, such as Starbucks, Gap, and True Value. Complementing this tenant mix are Personal Training Professionals fitness center, Bow Tie Cinemas, River Road Gallery, several salons, restaurants, and a bank. Une Minette, which we featured on our blog for its Small Business Saturday success, is also in Wilton River Park. In total, there are about 21 anchor, food, fashion, and personal service retailers in the complex, making it a shopping center that continues to attract significant business.
3. Wilton River Park maintains high-quality tenants. Two restaurants, for instance, Bon Appetit Café and Cactus Rose, are well-reviewed and continue draw high traffic. Bon Appetit Café is an upscale bistro hailed for its authentic French fare. Cactus Rose is a southwestern restaurant and tequila bar, noted for its energetic ambiance and inventive dishes. Incoming retailers help sustain the high quality of the tenant mix, with the newest opening being Petite Chou Chou, a children’s shoe store created by the popular Chou Chou women’s clothing shop.
4. Kimco gains full control of leasing and development. Since we acquired Wilton Executive Campus and Shoppes this month, the 187,000-square-foot mixed-use center adjacent to Wilton Campus Shops, we gain full control of the Wilton River Park property. We can further enhance and diversify the tenant mix to ensure strong co-tenancy and maintain high occupancy. Currently, retail occupancy is approximately 99 percent.
The combination of these characteristics makes Wilton River Park an ideal addition to our portfolio. Situated in a wealthy town with a stable outlook, this center is likely to set a high standard for future Kimco investments.