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Carrying on with its initiative of installing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations, Simon Property Group, Inc. (SPG - Analyst Report) along with the NRG eVgo of NRG Energy, Inc. (NRG - Analyst Report) disclosed the set-up of Freedom Station sites at 4 shopping centers in Orange County.

In particular, Simon Property is set to launch new EV fast-charging Freedom Station sites at The Outlets at Orange, Brea Mall, Westminster Mall and The Shops at Mission Viejo. The move is particularly aimed at catering to the increasing network of these chargers in the southern California region. Also, the inclusion of the EV chargers at its famous properties in Orange County will escalate footfall in these shopping centers.

Notably, NRG eVgo is spreading the EV chargers network across Los Angeles Basin, San Diego area, San Joaquin Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area. Hence, going forward, the EV drivers can access hundreds of stations across California, irrespective of the brand of the electric vehicle they drive.

Presently, Simon Property has 126 EV charging stations installed across its 65 shopping centers in 16 states. The company is working hard towards strengthening its relationship with customers and as part of that, it has planned to invest around $25 million – $50 million in 2014 in several initiatives aimed at enhancing their shopping experience.

Simon Property currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Investors interested in the retail REIT industry may consider stocks like Acadia Realty Trust (AKR - Snapshot Report) and Retail Properties of America, Inc. (RPAI - Snapshot Report). Both the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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