Deploying its real estate assets to generate badly needed cash, J.C. Penney Co. Inc. said today that it is working with three companies to develop land adjacent to its Plano, Tex., headquarters.

This story first appeared in the February 7, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Penney’s has formed a partnership with Team Legacy, a venture of Karahan Cos., Columbus Realty and KDC, to develop 240 acres of land acquired by the retailer in 1987, as it prepared to relocate to Plano from New York. Penney’s home office was completed in 1992.

The project, called Legacy West, is in the Legacy Business Park and, Penney’s said, “will be a natural extension of Legacy Town Center,” a mixed-use development.

“We have seen a great deal of business and residential growth around the home office over the last 25 years, and now is the time to capitalize on this attractive asset,” said Katheryn Burchett, senior vice president of real estate and property development at Penney’s. “Karahan, Columbus and KDC are trusted partners with a respected reputation, and we believe they will develop the land adjacent to our home office thoughtfully. This new project will be a positive venture for our company, our associates and all of North Texas.”

Shares of Penney’s rose 44 cents, or 8.4 percent, to $5.66 in New York Stock Exchange trading Thursday. They hit a 52-week low of $4.90 on Wednesday, one day after reporting a 2 percent increase in fourth-quarter comparable-store sales, the first such increase since the second quarter of 2011. However, the update implied a decelerating trend in sales during the quarter and a weak performance in January, eroding investor confidence in the embattled retailer.

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