The results of Shopping Center World's 15th annual ranking of the Top 50 Shopping Center Managers are in, and it seems the big are still getting bigger. Indianapolis-based Simon remains the undisputed champion, with 187 million sq. ft. of GLA in its management portfolio. The REIT added 22 million sq. ft. to its family of properties, and remains a daunting distance ahead of its nearest competitor, Chicago-based General Growth Properties.

Smaller companies need not be intimidated, however. Acquisitions and mergers can change a distant contender into a Top 10 power player. Take Atlanta-based Jones Lang LaSalle, for example. As LaSalle Partners Inc., the company managed 37 million sq. ft. of GLA and ranked No. 12 in the 1999 survey.

But a March 1999 merger with London-based Jones Lang Wootton changed the company's fortunes quickly, doubling its portfolio. Now, Jones Lang LaSalle ranks No. 3, with responsibility for 73 million sq. ft. of GLA.

Another big mover for 2000 is The RREEF Funds, Chicago. The company jumped an incredible 22 spots, from No. 43 to No. 21. How did they do it? In 1999, RREEF made 63 acquisitions for a total investment of $2 billion.

Inland Real Estate Investment Corp., Oak Brook, Ill., leaped nine spots from its position on last year's survey. An active acquisitions roster and a penchant for net lease deals took the company that calls itself Wal-Mart's largest private landlord from No. 34 to No. 25.

Seven new names appear on this year's survey. The most notable are No. 24 Madison Marquette, Minnetonka, Minn.; No. 26 Konover Property Trust, Cary, N.C.; and No. 28 LendLease Real Estate Investments, Atlanta.

1999 was not a year of growing portfolios for everyone. New York-based Insignia/ESG dropped 11 spots, and Rockville, Md.-based Federal Realty Investment Trust fell 10 spots as both companies' management GLA decreased in '99. And Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, ranked No. 28 in 1999, fell off the Top 50 chart in 2000, landing at No. 51.

This year's Top 50 firms manage an aggregate 1.5 billion sq. ft. of GLA, 71% of which is controlled by our Top 20 managers. The remaining 437 million sq. ft. lie in the hands of 30 smaller but tenacious companies that continue to keep an eye on the future.