After years of continued expansion, the top owners and managers of retail real estate in the United States stopped growing in 2008. Our list of the top 100 owners and managers shows very little movement compared with last year’s list—a testament to the miserable business conditions. It seems companies were focused on keeping current portfolios in order rather than going out and buying new properties or lining up new management assignments.

The total amount of space owned and managed by our top 100 remained virtually identical to last year’s totals. The top 100 owners hold in portfolios a little more than 2.1 billion square feet of space. The top 100 managers, meanwhile, oversee about 2.3 billion square feet of retail real estate.

But in both the ownership and management lists, the top 10 command the lion’s share of those amounts. The top 10 owners hold 1.14 billion square feet in their portfolios—more than half the overall total. However, in tracking the data back through 1997, for the first time the amount of space the top 10 owners have in their portfolios dropped year over year, down one percent from last year’s totals. On the manager side, the top 10 firms hold dominion over 1.17 billion square feet of space—just more than 50 percent of what the top 100 control as a group and identical to what they controlled last year.

As always, we attempted to include every firm we possibly could, either through having firms complete surveys or by reviewing SEC filings and company Web sites. If your firm is missing or data needs updating, drop us a line or send an e-mail to david.bodamer@penton.com.

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