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Regency Centers Corporation (REG - Analyst Report), a real estate investment trust (REIT), recently announced two lease agreements for neighborhood center space leased out in Carriage Gate located in Tallahassee, Florida. The company also stated that the property will undergo renovation, which will start in January 2013.

Regency Centers entered into an agreement with a new anchor -Trader Joe’s - to lease around 13,000 square foot of space in the center. Trader Joe’s owns a chain of grocery stores across the U.S. The retailer will  debut in the Tallahassee market with the leased store opening in 2013. Additionally, Regency Centers has penned a long term lease agreement with an existing tenant of the property - T.J. Maxx – for a space stretching to 25,600 square foot. T.J. Maxx is an American department store chain owned by the discount retail giant The TJX Companies, Inc. (TJX - Analyst Report).

Strategically positioned in the densely populated market of Tallahassee, Carriage Gate spans a total area of 78,583 square foot. Set up in 1978, the center experiences per day traffic count in excess of 50,000 vehicles.  With the addition of the new tenant, more than 68,000 square foot of space of the property is now leased out to well-known retailers. Some of them are - Starbucks Corporation (SBUX - Analyst Report), FedEx Office of FedEx Corporation (FDX - Analyst Report) and Bruegger’s bagels.

Regency Centers maintains a conservative capital structure and follows a self-funding capital strategy to fund its growth. It includes disposal of non-strategic assets and a continued focus on industry-leading co-investment partnership programs. Recently, the company acquired a 189,321 square-foot shopping center named Balboa Mesa Shopping Center in San Diego, California for $59.5 million.

With properties in high income, high-barrier markets, Regency Centers’ retail strip center portfolio is among the best in the sector, which allows it to continually perform at the top-end of its peer group. The average household income in the markets in which the company has a significant presence is over $100,000. As of June 30, 2012, Regency Centers owned 364 retail properties, spanning 49.5 million square feet, in top U.S. markets.

Regency Centers is expected to release its third-quarter 2012 results on November 7, 2012. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for third quarter FFO (fund from operations) is currently pegged at 58 cents per share.

We have a long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock. Also, it carries a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).

Note: FFO, a widely accepted and reported measure of the performance of REITs is derived by adding depreciation, amortization and other non-cash expenses to net income.

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