Retail REITs have the wind at their backs as both tenant sales and demand for new space are rising, the investment sales market is picking up steam and a plethora of financing options are now available. Those were the big themes for nearly every retail REIT that presented at NAREIT’s REIT Week held this week in New York City.

Most companies in the sector are projecting FFO and NOI gains for 2011. Share prices and total returns are up significantly from their March 2009 lows.

There were even some murmurs about development. Outlet centers are a particularly popular segment today, but some companies are selectively seeking to build grocery-anchored centers, town centers and even a handful of regional malls. More commonly, every REIT is looking for redevelopment and expansion opportunities within its portfolio.

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