CEDAR REALTY TRUST
Cedar Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust focused on ownership, operation and redevelopment of grocery-anchored shopping centers
in high-density urban markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston. If recognizes the retail landscape is constantly evolving. In an effort to balance
the demands of investors and the communities in which a developer or owner operates, Cedar Realty has launched an investment strategy
designed to enhance underserved urban communities while driving returns for investors.
One example lies in the efforts of President and CEO Bruce Schanzer and Robin Zeigler, the firm’s executive vice president and COO,
to lead the large-scale redevelopment of several high-profile sites in underprivileged neighborhoods in Philadelphia and Washington
D.C. They are working under the premise that the proliferation of e-commerce and other economic conditions are challenging the traditional retail real estate model. As such, the firm has streamlined its traditional retail portfolio and set its sights on more impactful
opportunities in densely populated urban locales. The strategy stemmed from the company’s recognition of a nationwide issue: the lack
of access to fresh foods, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, known as food deserts.
In each of its redevelopment initiatives, the Cedar team collaborates closely with key leaders and community members to gain a direct
perspective of the needs of the specific neighborhood. In
most cases, CDR has noticed the solutions that meet the
needs of everyday people are also the ones that make the
best financial sense for its own stakeholders.
CDR’s approach has always been “people-first” and its
efforts to address food deserts are a prime example. For
every community where it redevelops, CDR takes the neighborhood’s needs, wants and challenges into account before
the project begins, focusing on solutions to a lack of access.
The criteria for a Cedar project goes beyond a pro forma or
spreadsheet; it’s a comprehensive assessment of how the
company can make a genuine and positive human impact,
and how, through its execution, it can provide long-term
value to its investors.
Several CDR executives are
members of the International
Council of Shopping Centers.
The firm’s values are rooted in
giving back to the communities in
which they invest and as part of
this promise, the company has
hosted and sponsored a variety of
neighborhood events that directly
benefit residents and the community at large.
Bruce J. Schanzer
Tim Havener Charles Burkert
HUSCH BLACKWELL’S RETAIL PRACTICE GROUP
In 2012 Husch Blackwell embraced an industry-first reorganization of its law firm, transitioning from a traditional
law firm structure that highlighted legal practice areas to one that was organized around the industries it serves. As
part of that effort, the firm brought together the disparate practices and lawyers serving retail clients into a more
formalized group within the firm. In 2017, this ultimately led to the formal creation of its Retail Institute.
Husch Blackwell’s retail practice group is an aggregation of lawyers from around the firm who have significant retail clients. Its work spans virtually all areas of legal and business concern, and the group advises clients
that span the entire range of the industry, from small, single-store retailers to one of the world’s largest retailers.
Husch Blackwell’s Retail Institute was created with the belief that in-depth industry knowledge creates value,
and knowledge is created through an open exchange of ideas, innovations and experiences. On the more
operational side of the business, the firm has lawyers who focus on the full range of legal challenges that retailers
face. For example, its team has veteran supply chain specialists who assist clients with a variety of issues related
to logistics and trade. It also has franchise lawyers who counsel both franchisors and franchisees as well as labor
and employment lawyers who provide both counseling and litigation for retail clients. On the financial side of
the business, the firm’s corporate lawyers are capable of advising on transactions large and small ranging from banking and finance transactions to capital markets and M&A. It also has experienced insolvency lawyers.
One of the firm’s greatest accomplishments involves the resurrection and redevelopment of what was one of the largest shopping malls
in the U.S. that had fallen on hard times, the Northwest Plaza Shopping Center in Missouri. Tenant departures and other market changes
created an opening for redevelopment of the 125-acre property. Husch Blackwell’s team negotiated the acquisition of the vacant mall, as
well as leasing and sale transactions. It also assisted its client in arranging financing for the $106 million, multiphase project and in securing significant federal, state and local incentives.