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2019 Year in Review

Dear Friends:

2019 was a pinnacle year for Centennial. We continued to strengthen our fully integrated services platform, enhanced our team of real estate experts, pioneered several industry defining placemaking activations and secured critical approvals to begin our development projects.

2019 was the year of positioning and preparation and now 2020 will be the year of execution. 

In 2020, Centennial will launch hospitality management as a new property management standard, with customer experience being paramount. We will focus on executing on our development projects while also preparing to expand the portfolio with several new assets over the next 24 months. Execution and growth go hand in hand and 2020 will be the year for both.

As we move into this next phase, I’d like to share some company highlights from 2019 and extend my personal appreciation for your valuable contributions to our growing company. 

Maximized the Centennial Team

   - Appointed Carl Tash to the newly created Chief Investment Officer position to prepare for future expansion. Carl oversees all of Centennial’s investment activities and growth strategies, including capital markets, investor relations and fund management.

   - Added Bil Ingraham as SVP, Business Development to lead specialty leasing, media, and partnership marketing programs.

   - Cheered on 5 team members as they earned ICSC Certified Retail Real Estate Professional (CRRP) designations: congrats to Ashley Kravitz, Jonathan Maher, Jeff Rutzen, Cory Sams, and Ken Sterba.

Successes in Leasing

   - Continued to add experiential offerings across the portfolio. Opened a 37,000 SF Altitude Trampoline Park at Pueblo, executed a lease with Comedy Shrine at Fox Valley, opened Hi-Five Sports Zone and a new Gymboree Play and Music at Hawthorn, signed a lease with Candeeland at MainPlace, and opened Muse Paint Bar at Connecticut Post.

   - Executed and sold a free-standing Olive Garden long-term ground lease at Brazos Mall.

   - Successfully negotiated and opened a 5-property kiosk deal with Seventh Sense Botanical Therapy that added $300,000 of annual rent to the portfolio.

   - Added the portfolio’s first common area tenant to serve alcohol, with 60 & 21 Café and Wine Bar opening in Hawthorn Mall’s Center Park.

Transformational Redevelopments

   - Secured long term value through the entitlements at MainPlace.

   - Debuted the redevelopments at MainPlace, Hawthorn and Fox Valley with best in class marketing collateral, future positioning and modern fly throughs.

   - Established relationships with the city officials for MainPlace, Connecticut Post, Fox Valley and Hawthorn that will yield invaluable results through the development process.

   - Secured approvals and commenced construction on a three tenant outparcel building at Vancouver Mall.

   - Designed and delivered industry-defining Center Park renovations at Fox Valley and Hawthorn in time for Black Friday. These projects transformed underutilized Center Court space into vibrant gathering places that artfully combine green and hardscaped designs with incredible aesthetic appeal to encourage year-round usability.

Accomplishments in Marketing

   - Used art to connect with communities by executing a series of 8 large-scale mural installations at Chicagoland properties covering nearly 20,000 sf of vacant storefront and wall space, including: a 980-foot swing illustration by nationally known artist Kelsey Montague and a whopping 6,448-sf exterior mural by Gregg Valley at Fox Valley.

   - Modernized the traditional Santa visit by unveiling four unique-to-industry holiday experiences: Hawthorn Mall’s “The Elf on the Shelf: Santa’s Magical Photo Adventure”, MainPlace Mall’s “A Christmas Story” set, Vancouver Mall’s “The Polar Express” set and Connecticut Post Mall’s “Elf” set. These new and immersive holiday experiences combine rich storytelling brought to life using augmented reality technology and theatrical-quality set designs to engage and entertain guests as they wait to meet Santa Claus.

   - Advanced the MyPerks loyalty program by opening MyPerks Lounges at Fox Valley and Hawthorn, giving members VIP access to special events and offers. Also successfully rolled out a beta version of the MyPerks App and launched the annual Holiday Perks campaign.

Culture and Responsible Corporate Citizenship

   - The Centennial Way committee hosted 96 employee engagement events across all 8 locations. The committee launched a portfolio-wide Lunch & Learn Series designed to stimulate peer learning and creativity in the workplace as well as a new wellness initiative in partnership with Walker Tracker.

   - Continued to achieve our sustainability goals through the SEE Centennial program. Generated over $800K in revenue through a trash concessions program that also diverted 24% of the waste stream from being deposited in landfills. We also reduced electricity costs by 10%, received $221K in utility rebates and generated $139K in income by meeting energy reduction goals.

   - Officially launched Centennial Cares as the third pillar of our corporate social responsibility program designed to focus on community, volunteerism and giving. A materiality assessment identified education, mentoring and after-school programs as our main impact areas. Already, Centennial Cares has hosted 8 school supply drives and opened 7 Little Free Libraries to support literacy in our communities.

   - Hosted a 3-day Centennial Conference with the theme of Reimaging Real Estate: Centennial 2.0. All content and activities were strategically designed to provide relevant information on macro and micro trends facing our centers today and in the future. Managers from across the portfolio and corporate team members heard from architects, designers, placemaking professionals, major tenants, and other subject matter experts.

   - 11 team members were recognized for outstanding achievement at the Centennial Awards dinner, including Oliver Robinson as the 2019 Founder’s Award Recipient. 

Awards and Accolades

   - Steven Levin was named a top Influencer in Retail Real Estate by Globest.com and was selected as one of Orange County’s Top 100 Influencers for 2019 by The Orange County Register.

   - Whitney Livingston was awarded ICSC’s coveted 4 Under 40 award.

   - Colleen Heydon was recognized nationally as a top CRE Marketing Influencer by Globest.com.

   - At the ICSC Convention in Las Vegas this year, the marketing team won a Gold MAXI award in the Impact category >10K for Hawthorn Mall’s ‘Christmas in July’ Event. All 6 MAXI submissions were selected as finalists in their respective categories.

I’m extremely proud of who we are as a company, both collectively and individually. Today’s consumers want immersive, dynamic, and personalized experiences that combine shopping, dining, and entertainment with placemaking strategies to create destinations people will visit again and again. That’s the kind of change we envision for Centennial properties and those are the destinations we are committed to delivering.

I wish all of you the very best in 2020,

Steven Levin
Founder and Chief Executive Officer