Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

RPT Realty (NYSE:RPT)
Q2 2021 Earnings Call
Aug 5, 2021, 9:00 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:

Operator

Greetings, and welcome to the RPT Realty Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, Vin Chao. Thank you, Vin. You may begin.

Vin Chao -- Senior Vice President Finance

Good morning, and thank you for joining us for RPT's Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Conference Call. At this time, management would like me to inform you that certain statements made during this conference call, which are not historical, may be deemed forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Additionally, statements made during the call are made as of the date of this call. Listeners to any replay should understand that the passage of time by itself will diminish the quality of the statements made. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, factors and risks could cause actual results to differ from expectations.

Certain of these factors are described as risk factors in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, and in our earnings release for the second quarter of 2021. Certain of these statements made on today's call also involve non-GAAP financial measures. Listeners are directed to our second quarter press release and our first quarter press release, which include definitions of those non-GAAP measures and reconciliations to the nearest GAAP measures and which are available on our website in the Investors section.

I would now like to turn the call over to President and CEO, Brian Harper; and CFO, Mike Fitzmaurice, for their opening remarks, after which, we'll open the call for questions.

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Thank you, Vin. Good morning, and thank you for joining our second quarter 2021 conference call. I hope you and your families are all well. Although the pandemic has created many challenges, we are seeing a resurgence in open-air shopping center demand as retailers gain a better understanding of the importance of a robust omnichannel distribution platform that includes well-located bricks-and-mortar retail. Similarly, investors have taken notice and have been allocating more capital toward open-air shopping centers. This is leading to compressing cap rates for certain retail segments in the private markets, unlocking M&A opportunities in the public markets and recently culminated in the shopping center sector's first IPO since 2013. At RPT, we spent the last three years thinking strategically and outside the box to reinvent, advance and differentiate our company.

This exercise led to the formation of our grocery-anchored R2G joint venture and our groundbreaking net lease platform, RGMZ. Together with our wholly owned portfolio, we have created a powerful engine that will drive our business forward and unleash opportunities across multiple retail channels, which we expect will result in strong and sustainable growth. Within our investments platform, we have always used a rigorous underwriting methodology and acted with discipline and patience. Investments and our buybacks must be accretive to portfolio quality, earnings and the balance sheet; and b, in our strategic markets. With these must-haves, RPT transformed on a scale and at a speed that exceeded our own expectations, and we are excited to share the considerable accomplishments of the reinvented RPT. During the depths of the pandemic in 2020, while we were working on RGMZ, we were also cultivating a significant investment pipeline.

We took a thoughtful and analytical approach to curate our external growth in markets like Boston, Atlanta, Tampa and Nashville that are flourishing in today's modern landscape. Thankfully, our timing worked out very well. While each of our acquisition markets has its own unique set of economic drivers, we believe they will all experience strong growth over the long term, which should position the portfolio well in the coming years. Boston, for instance, is seeing a wave of demand centered around the life science industry. And our centers have significant adjacency advantages with 186 life science companies within a 10-mile radius of the four Boston properties that will soon be part of the portfolio. Once the remainder of our deals close and net of expected parcel sales, Boston will become our third largest market at just under 8% of ABR.

This underscores our size advantage versus peers as we can quickly reshape our portfolio, which is particularly important in today's rapidly evolving landscape. Let me give you a few highlights on our investments in Boston that will fit in nicely with our previously acquired Wegmans-anchored Northborough Crossings property and collectively boast a robust $148,000 household income within a 3-mile radius. Bedford Marketplace in the Boston MSA is situated in a highly affluent suburb right outside the 128 loop with a 3-mile average household income of $193,000. This is a center where Whole Foods is doing over $1,000 per square foot and has a fresh, newly renewed 15-year lease term. Marshalls has been here since 1973 and is also doing extremely well. Shoppes of Canton, this has $133,000 household income within a 3-mile radius. This is a top-volume Shaw's-anchored center, where the small shop demand is robust.

The expected NOI CAGR on this asset is about 4%. Lastly, we are in negotiations on a true infill grocery-anchored center inside the 128 loop with above-average household incomes and population densities versus our portfolio averages with the potential for future densification opportunities, given its size and proximity to Boston. In total, since our last call, we closed or are under contract on eight multi-tenant deals and are in advanced contract negotiations on a ninth asset with a gross value of $500 million, covering 2.6 million square feet, which will increase our AUM by over 20%. To put this in context, this level of activity equates to almost 50% of our equity-marketed cap, which is quite remarkable. RPT's pro rata share of all this activity and after expected parcel sales are complete will be around $285 million. We were only able to execute at this scale because of the power of the platforms that we put together over the last 18 months.

As we discussed last quarter, Northborough is a $104 million deal we might not have pursued without RGMZ, given the large ticket size. Our partnership with RGMZ also made Northborough a much more attractive use of capital, given the yield enhancement that we expect to generate upon the sale of certain parcels to RGMZ. In the Southeast region, we acquired $115 million 4-property portfolio that was split between all three platforms: RPT, R2G and RGMZ. Let me give you a breakdown of this portfolio. Let's start with East Lake in Tampa. This is another grocery-anchored center that was added to the R2G portfolio. This center is anchored by a high-volume Walmart neighborhood market and over 65% essential or investment-grade tenancy. Newnan Pavilion. This is a community center in the Atlanta MSA with a strong lineup of Aldi, Home Depot and Ross.

We are selling the Home Depot and LongHorn to RGMZ and RPT is left with an Aldi-anchored center at an 8.6% yield with almost 80% essential or investment-grade tenancy. On balance sheet, we bought Woodstock Square in suburban Atlanta. This center is shadow-anchored by one of the highest-volume Super Targets in the Atlanta MSA. The center is in the heart of the rapidly growing Northwest Corridor of Atlanta and is adjacent to a luxury rental community owned by Greystar. We see great mark-to-market opportunities on both the small shop and junior boxes at the center. Woodstock has also demonstrated great stability over the years and has retained its original anchor tenants since it was developed in 2001. Another balance sheet deal is Bellevue Place in suburban Nashville. This center sits on incredible real estate, where we have conviction around a small redevelopment with a potential future grocery add.

To put everything we've done into context, R2G and RGMZ provided us with a lower cost of capital than we could have achieved even after the rally in our stock price since November. This lower cost of capital, combined with the yield enhancements from fees and multi- to single-tenant arbitrage opportunities, allowed us to lock in higher economic spreads on our capital than we could have otherwise have achieved in the public markets, thereby accelerating our earnings growth and our portfolio transformation. In summary, power of our platforms is allowing us to grow earnings and to advance our strategic objectives faster than we could do on our own. Given the level of acquisition activity, we put together an additional investor presentation that showcases our recent deals and provides insights into our market strategies. When time permits, please take a look.

On the operational front, our second quarter results reflected RPT's reshaped portfolio and platform. We continue to rebound from the COVID-induced downturn with another strong leasing quarter. We signed 58 leases covering 442,000 square feet in the second quarter, which is 59% above the trailing 12-month quarterly average leasing volume we reported last quarter, highlighting the strong demand for our high-quality open-air centers. Demand has been particularly robust from the junior anchor category and is as high as I've ever seen in my career. Leasing highlights for the quarter was an REI deal at Town & Country in St. Louis that replaced the majority of a former Stein Mart space and a lululemon deal. Both of these new tenants will significantly improve the vibrancy of the centers, making them more attractive for both customers and retailers alike while also improving the credit of the portfolio.

Reflective of the strength of the off-price category, we signed two new Burlington deals this quarter. The first is at Winchester Center, where we are replacing our last Stein Mart box. And the second is at Shoppes at Lakeland, where we are replacing an office supply tenant. Our leasing pipeline is robust as we are in negotiations with several grocers and wholesale clubs and are eager to announce those soon. Underpinning all of the accomplishments of the quarter is our belief that value creation lies in our ability to improve the quality, sustainability and growth of our cash flows. Our success in replacing weaker tenants with stronger ones and our increased exposure to Boston and Atlanta speak to the improved quality and sustainability of our cash flows. Our increased guidance and the 60% increase in our quarterly dividend reflects our accelerated growth trajectory.

With that, I'll turn the call over to Mike to discuss our financial and operational results and our updated guidance in more details. Mike?

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Thanks, Brian, and good morning, everyone. Today, I'll discuss our second quarter results, provide an update on our balance sheet and end with commentary on our improving guidance expectations for the second half of this year. Against the backdrop of an improving macro environment, second quarter operating FFO per share of $0.22 was up $0.03 from last quarter, driven by lower rent not probable collection and abatements of $0.02 and the reversal of prior period straight-line rent reserves of about $0.01 per share. The largest driver of the decline in our bad debt was a reduction in our reserves taken for our Regal theaters. As expected, they have been open for over two months and have resumed rent payments accordingly. For some context, our rent not probable collection, including abatements, peaked at $5.9 million in the second quarter 2020 and have fallen quickly to the $1.1 million we reported this quarter.

We are down to just a handful of tenants for which we are still reserving and expect our bad debt will continue to be a tailwind to year-over-year growth in the second half of the year, which is in line with the expectations that we set out at the beginning of 2021. Our fundamentals remain strong. We continue to experience accelerating leasing demand with one million square feet signed year-to-date, which is just below the 1.2 million we completed for the entire year in 2019. Our positive leasing momentum resulted in sequential increases for our leased and occupancy rates of 50 and 40 basis points, respectively. This is in line with our expectations that the trough in occupancy is behind us as we continue to drive occupancy in our newly minted transformed portfolio. Blended releasing spreads on comparable leases signed in the quarter were 6.6%, including another strong new lease spread of 17.8%, reflecting once again the embedded mark-to-market opportunity in the portfolio.

Over the past four quarters, our comparable new lease spread was 30%. Our powerful operating platform continued to drive leasing velocity, improved occupancy and secure higher rents. Remerchandising projects remain our best risk-adjusted use of capital. And our pipeline of projects continue to grow. This quarter, we delivered three remerchandising and out-lot projects: the ground lease with Wendy's at Coral Creek Shops; the ground lease with Chase Bank at West Broward; and the combination of the boxes for Aveda at Merchants Square. These products were completed in an average return on capital of 17%. We also started our new REI remerchandising project at Town & Country and an expansion project for Burlington at the Shoppes at Lakeland, where we expect returns of 9% to 13%. We added five new pipeline projects this quarter in Northborough Crossing, Deerfield Towne Center, Southfield Plaza, River City Marketplace and Providence Marketplace, highlighting the demand at our centers and future rent upside.

We ended the second quarter with net debt to annualized adjusted EBITDA of 7.0 times, down from 7.2 times last quarter. Leverage should fall toward our target range of 5.5 to 6.5 times as our bad debt reserve normalizes to pre-COVID levels and we restabilize occupancy. From a liquidity perspective, we ended the second quarter with a cash balance of $38 million and our fully unused $350 million unsecured line of credit. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, we drew down $135 million on the revolver to fund acquisitions, which we expect will be repaid by the end of the year as we close on parcel sales to RGMZ that are expected to generate roughly $142 million in proceeds. During the quarter, we repaid our $37 million private placement note with cash on hand. Looking ahead, we have no remaining debt maturing in 2021 and only $52 million maturing in 2022. Our refinancing options are plentiful, and we are exploring both secured and unsecured options.

We will also continue to look beyond 2022 to refinance debt early to take advantage of a low interest rate environment while adding duration to our capital stack. And lastly, turning to guidance. We updated our operating FFO range to $0.88 to $0.92, which is up $0.05 or 6% than last quarter's guidance and about 10% from our initial 2021 guidance provided back in February. The primary driver of the upside is an increase in our acquisition forecast. We have closed on or under contract or are in advanced contract negotiation on $285 million of acquisitions at our share, which is above the $100 million of acquisition that was embedded in our prior guidance. Also, given the strength in our core business and our accretive acquisitions, our Board of Trustees has increased the dividend by 60% to $0.12 per share quarterly. This rate allows us to maintain a low payout ratio, providing us flexibility to continue to allocate capital accretively but also leaving room for additional dividend increases in the future as we grow earnings.

And with that, I will turn the call back to the operator to open the line for questions.

Questions and Answers:

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Thank you. Our first question comes from Derek Johnston with Deutsche Bank. Please proceed with your question.

Derek Johnston -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Hi everyone. Good morning. So one thing that really stood out to us was the strongest leasing volumes in really over five years. And this is with a much smaller and refined portfolio. Can you talk about the shifting drivers or dynamics really leading to such robust leasing? Any tenant categories, geography strength or even new entrants or newness that stood out?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. Derek, it's -- as I've said repeatedly, it's as strong as I've seen in my career, particularly the junior boxes. That really got out of the gate the fastest in a post-pandemic world, where it's been nice to see. The interesting thing about this quarter is the new deals were about 50% junior boxes and 50% small shop. That range from, call it, 35% of them were off-price with a very good high percentage of medical as well, with a large percentage of fast casual and QSR. We mentioned the lululemon deal. We mentioned the REI deal.

And we -- even past this, we have a very good backlog of wholesale, home improvement, grocers, where we're just getting huge yields. And a lot of those are going into power centers or what we'd like to say, credit centers. So it is -- the leasing team is firing on all cylinders, boots on the ground in these markets. And I think a lot of this, too, is helpful of -- in 2018, we disposed of $200 million of assets in secondary markets that had an average IRR of 3.5% that was anchoring the portfolio down. That is gone. So we are mining the portfolio every inch and couldn't be prouder of our operations and team, both leasing and development.

Derek Johnston -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Thank you Brian. And for the second question, can you share what was so attractive about these six acquisitions you announced? I know you gave some details, but maybe a little more context. And really overall, the ones that you're also vetting today and -- how did cap rates shake out, especially for the portions destined for RPT's balance sheet versus the parcels that are earmarked for JVs?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. So Derek, it's -- the way we look at real estate obviously is IRR-driven, first and foremost. And then it comes down to the real estate, the credit profiles of the tenants and math. So let's start with the math first. The total yield on the whole portfolio was a 7.5% cap. And the way I would look at that is -- would be the following. The property is blended to a mid-6% and the power of the two platforms increased it by 100 basis points. That's obviously arbitrage and fees. This is our target range and our competitive advantage. It's a moat, if you will, in this highly, highly competitive market. As I mentioned in my prepared remarks, we obviously had a lot of good timing. And we started on these assets in mid-2020, when we knew RGMZ was going to occur. We were highly focused on these selective MSAs, highly focused on them. And we're negotiating at a time when others weren't underwriting deals.

This early jump allowed us to secure these assets, we believe, at extremely attractive yields, where they would be 75 basis points lower today. And a proven example of this is a deal recently traded in Provo, Utah, Walmart neighborhood-anchored shopping center, similar cash flow, similar credit, similar wall. Provo, Utah is clearly not the number 18 Tampa MSA. That deal in Provo went for a sub-5% cap. So what I love about this specific asset, it's 80% grocer. The grocers that report are averaging $700 a square foot. This is a 5% CAGR -- NOI CAGR, 60% IG, 125,000 household income with a high amount of small shop. And it really all comes down to the execution of how we could get this at this yield at this quality. And accretive to our balance sheet is the power of the platforms. And this will be a unique weapon going forward in this highly competitive landscape while cap rates are compressing every day. And we are highly focused on our Tier one markets of Boston, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Nashville and Austin and really remain disciplined on future pipeline, you know where it has to meet the three buckets of accretive in quality, accretive in earnings and accretive in balance sheet. [Technical Issues]

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Linda Tsai with Jefferies. Please proceed with your question.

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Hi Good morning. You still have a fair amount of capital to be deployed in RGMZ. How are you thinking about the pace of deployment for the remainder of the year? And then maybe just back to your earlier comments about how competition has increased a lot for the assets that you're looking at.

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. Let me start with the bucket. And Tyler Sorenson and his team on the triple-net side is doing a phenomenal job and have a really high -- really full pipeline, Linda. The way we're looking at this is three buckets. First would be the arbitrage like we did with Northborough or Newnan. Second would be build-to-suit opportunities. We are now -- provide another service to our retail partners, where we can build them reverse build-to-suits and obviously keep that spread on the yield as we dispose that to RGMZ. And then the third would be marketed and off-market deals.

So the team is very focused, and we're seeing a lot of activity in that space. As a reminder, it's only 6.5% of RPT. So it's a very meaningless kind of number for end of the year for us. And your second question, as it relates to the competitive landscape, it's very competitive. And our head start on this $500 million of deals, we hit timing right. And we do have a nice pipeline behind that in these selective markets that, with this platform, that 7.5% yield is kind of our bogey. And we believe that this platform is really a moat that gives us a weapon and a differentiator that allows us to accretively deploy in an external world that's extremely competitive today.

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

And Linda, the only thing I would add to that is, just as a reminder, as we've talked in the past, is we have three years to optimize this joint venture, which really allows us to be very, very, very disciplined and rigorous in our underwriting of these new investments, which is a great spot to be in.

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Thanks. And then just a follow-up for Mike to just -- you gave us some details on Regal. What was -- what were the overall collections from theaters this quarter? And just remind us what it was in 1Q.

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. In the first quarter, we collected 0% from our theaters. We collected about half or so in the second quarter. Total collections for the second quarter, we touched about 95%. 3% was deferred, gets you to that about 98%. And then 2% really represent our cash-basis tenants that we reserve for. We continue to see for the remaining part of the year embedded within our guidance range is about $1 million per quarter for the second half of the year, which is very consistent with what we reported in the second quarter this year. [Technical Issues]

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Craig Schmidt with Bank of America. Please proceed with your question.

Craig Schmidt -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Thank you. As you pointed out, you beat the second quarter by $0.01 and then you raised guidance on the midpoint by $0.05. I wonder where this raised growth is coming from regarding, let's say, your RPT platform versus your R2G and RGMZ, I mean, a rough breakout?

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. A rough breakout of the $285 million or so, Craig, about $123 million or so is going to come on our balance sheet. About $150 million or so is going to go on our R2G joint venture, where we own 51.5%. And then the last $5 million or so is going to come through RGMZ, again where we own just 6.5%. That totals to about $285 million. And as Brian noted, that was redeployed at about a 7.5% cap rate. And that gets you the $0.05 of swing that we had within our guidance this quarter. And the average acquisition date that I would model, Craig, is probably going to be likely at the end of the third quarter, beginning of the fourth.

Craig Schmidt -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Great. And then maybe touching on some of the earlier conversation about the increased leasing volume, how much of this is just new leasing volume emerging versus maybe taking market share from either private or less dominant players? So sort of is the pie growing? Or are you starting to get more of that pie?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

It's both. I mean, we're getting a lot of new-to-market. We're getting a lot of relocations. We're getting a lot of mall tenants as the lululemons and the Athletas and Sephoras of the world are very active. So we're very disciplined on increasing market share at the assets where we can increase them. And that's looking at the competitive landscape. That's looking at where we can pick off tenants from competing centers that's either open air or enclosed. So I was very, very pleased with new-to-market and the relocations.

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Wes Golladay with Baird. Please proceed with your question.

Wes Golladay -- Baird -- Analyst

Hey Good morning guys. A question on the net lease versus shopping centers. You do focus on IRRs. Can you tell us what do you think the difference is between the two asset types today?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. I mean, obviously, the triple-nets, I mean, both -- it's very frothy. And when you look to triple-nets, it's compressed significantly. They got a head start, obviously, on the shopping centers. We're seeing huge compression in the stop shopping center landscape as well. But I think the interesting thing, Wes, especially on the nets is it's a lot of these essential tenants that are really seeing the most compression from obviously your wholesale to home improvement to grocery and then even the QSRs. So it's a very, very liquid competitive market. And then that's -- you just have a wider pool just based on the liquidity and the smaller check size of each of those deals as opposed to some of these centers and some of these centers we bought, Northborough, $104 million. That buying pool is obviously not a lot, where the $2 million Chick-fil-A or the $3 million Chipotle, that buying pool is quite wide. So it's certainly competitive on both sides. But obviously, nets are trading much tighter than the shopping centers today.

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. And the one thing I would add there, for our net list platform, just as a reminder, Wes, we talked about this in the past, is we lever up to 60%, 65% to improve that IRR, which is unique to this platform relative to the public peers. So it gives a bit of an advantage there.

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

And I think to, Wes, it's like why we're a differentiator for our investors, the arbitrage, where we are seeding these assets at, call it, 50 basis points wider than the market, we are build-to-suit four tenants, maybe that's an 8% yield, maybe that's a 9% yield contributing that for a 5% or 6%, right? And then looking at selectively, maybe it's shorter-term duration, where we have just excellent relationships with the retailers, we could do a blend and extend in dd, where we can -- Mike touched upon patience, and over the three years -- investors are patient. So we don't have to deploy, and we could creatively bring IRR where I think a lot of the public nets can't.

Wes Golladay -- Baird -- Analyst

Yes, makes sense. And then can we go to the leasing? The TIs were elevated again. And last quarter, you did the strategic leasing. And I imagine that this is going on now. I guess, when we look to the next 12 months, how much strategic leasing is left in the portfolio?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. So I mean, this really came down to -- this was a strategic deal. This was the REI deal at Town & Country. It was a vacant Stein Mart box. We had four tenants interested in this, three would have taken the box as is. REI and a multitude of other tenants had interest in the box. So we decided to divide it. So that's some of that cost right there. So if you combine REI with another tenant, which we'll announce soon, it's about a 15% yield. So we like that a lot. And we chose REI for the co-tenancy with Whole Foods, the niche it fills in the market, the greater market share we're going to have. And we just think that's a win-win. Winchester, where we had the other Stein Mart box, it was just really -- we put Burlington in and didn't divide it.

So it's going to be -- the pipeline in our supplemental, shadow pipeline has increased tremendously. And we really see great yields on those. So that has been handpicked. That has been hand-curated. That has a lot of like wholesale clubs. That is a lot of the grocers. That's a lot of the home improvements. That a lot of new pads from Chick-fil-As and Chipotles and all that. That's what you're seeing there. And the yields are strong. So I think it's an asset-by-asset selection, where Winchester, we decided to tick the box and just Burlington basically took it as is, whereas Town & Country, we decided to chop it up, just given the small shop demand and REI.

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. For this year, Wes, we're spending about $20 million or so on these discretionary-type remerchandising projects. And if we -- based on the visibility that we have today in our cash flows and our business plans, we'll probably spend about $10 million to $20 million per year on these opportunities to improve the tenancy and the dynamic nature of our remerchandising mix at our centers. And I think the cost is justified by these great, national, high-credit, high investment-grade tenants, like Brian mentioned, between REI and the strong grocers that we hope to announce soon.

Wes Golladay -- Baird -- Analyst

Got it. And then going to the private market, I guess, is that bid starting to widen? Is it more -- if you were to sell your like maybe the bottom 10% of your portfolio, is that bid starting to firm up? And can you use that as a source of capital for future investments?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. I mean, it's -- again, I think we're seeing it frothy at all sectors. I mean, that markets are open and very frothy. And thankfully, as I said earlier on the call, we sold our bottom tier. We're not actively -- our match funding out of certain nonstrategic markets will be just that, match funding. We're not going to be diluting the company. But to sell into the froth, are we looking at certain strategic markets? Sure, that we could match fund into others and to these type of strategic markets, absolutely. And we are seeing very, very good demand. [Technical Issues]

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Mike Mueller with JPMorgan. Please proceed with your question.

Mike Mueller -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Yeah Hi. So a couple of questions. I guess, first, what's an example of a center where you're comfortable carving out partials to the net lease venture compared to one where you wouldn't? Or does it not matter because you have an interest in both? And the second question is in terms of the net lease venture, where do you see kind of the average cap rate levels that, that entity will be paying for the carve-out slices in today's market?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. So let me take your first question. It comes down to the real estate. It comes down to co-tenancy clauses. It comes down to where the pads are located in the centers. It comes down to does that real estate have future densification options. And it obviously comes down to the tenants and the credit. So we are very, very disciplined on looking at -- going through a rigorous process of what is true triple-net, what could be parceled off, how hard is it to parcel off in the jurisdiction. In many cases, some are already parceled off. Then we look at co-tenancy. We look at use, right? And I think like what Newnan provided is it was a Home Depot in the back of the center.

A lot of centers in the country right now are already shadow-anchored Home Depot. So LongHorn out in front, there were a number of pads along that area that were already shadow-anchored. And we decided to part with that. I think the others that we wouldn't would be more of the densification future opportunities. I would look at the new Boston assets, that's like that, right, where we have potential great future air rights and not really have had a major inbounds from some of the leading residential REITs on interest of if we would look at something like that, or the Tampa assets, which I think one particularly in St. Pete, South Pasadena is right on the water and just has incredible demand. So we look at all that and then make a determination. I would say that cap rates run from 5% to 6s, right? And it just depends. What? It depends on duration and term and -- basically, that's 5s and 6s. [Technical Issues]

Operator

Thank you. Our next question comes from Floris Van Dijkum with Compass Point. Please proceed with your question.

Floris Van Dijkum -- Compass Point -- Analyst

Thanks Good morning guys. So just one, I mean, obviously, very active on the acquisitions front, increasing your exposure to these key markets. Could you tell us what percentage of the portfolio is currently in your target markets? And where do you want to get to? And also, in particular, referring to that, I think 27% of your current portfolio still is in Detroit and in Cincinnati.

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. We don't have a -- we don't play the math game of it has to be x percentage of X, Y and Z in Austin or Nashville or Boston or Tampa or Orlando or Miami. We obviously have a large exposure in Florida already. We will be getting larger in Boston. We will be getting larger in Nashville. And it comes down to IRR and it comes down to real estate. It comes down to sales performance. So I think people get caught where they have a number that they have to hit, certain percentages of grocery, certain percentage of market share in X, Y or Z. We want quality real estate in all these markets. Detroit dropped to 15%. I could see that dropping much further in the near term just based on froth of the market and match funding. As I've said from day 1, that's institutional-quality real estate where we're doing a number of key grocery deals, so want to harvest a lot of that out first and go from there. So we don't have goalpost of 20% Boston, 20% Atlanta, 20% Miami. It comes down to the real estate and we're patient. So we'll hold out for the right deals.

Floris Van Dijkum -- Compass Point -- Analyst

Thanks Brian. Maybe the -- one of my other questions is you talk about the 6.5% cap rate on these transactions you've just announced. Obviously, that goes to -- you boost that by -- through the JVs, your returns are significantly higher. You also talked about the 5% CAGR on them. If you could explain that a little bit more because 5% same-store NOI CAGR on those acquisitions seems really high, particularly -- I think the Southeast portfolio is 94% leased. Where is the upside? Is it in rents? Or is it in -- there's no information on occupancy.

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Yes. So there's a 90% -- there's a few centers that are lifting that CAGR up. Shoppes of Canton has a lot of small shops. It's like 70% small shop. And we have some vacancies there and already are working on negotiating deals. So that's a massive CAGR. The mark-to-market on some of those renewals, as I said, the Woodstock was -- it's a lot of their original deals that were in the 2000 -- since 2001, original anchors. So some people are up for renewals and there are some vacancies. And then Newnan has a number of potential for mark-to-market as well. And then Northborough is like an 8% CAGR just because of two new, and potentially three new, TJX concepts coming online. So really skewed higher with three or four of those centers.

Floris Van Dijkum -- Compass Point -- Analyst

Thanks. And then my last question, I guess, is maybe if you could put in -- I mean, I've done the math. Your -- the little presentation you sent out, which I thought was quite slick, you talk about $4.9 million of potential ABR upside getting back to '19-level occupancies, which I think works out to around additional 3% of NOI, somewhere in that range, obviously a bigger impact on FFO because of leverage. Maybe if you can talk a little bit about when you think you see the company getting back to '19 levels of occupancy going forward.

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. No, I think it's -- if you look at our occupancy today, Floris, we ended the quarter at around 91%. We were up 40 basis points. We do think the trough is behind us as we've messaged over the last couple of quarters. So we'll end the year right around 91.5%, which puts us just about where we ended 2020. As we move forward, we do think the portfolio restabilizes in late 2022, possibly early of 2023, right back at that 93% level that we were at pre COVID. And we absolutely think that this portfolio is a 95% quality portfolio. We were well on our way there prior to the pandemic. So we think there's even additional upside beyond early 2023 with occupancy.

Operator

Thank you. Your next question comes from Todd Thomas with KeyBanc Capital Markets. Please proceed with your question.

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hi Good morning. Brian, first question, the mall-based tenant demand that you mentioned, lulu and others that are signing leases, are you seeing greater interest from them to expand outside of, I guess, some of the larger-format lifestyle and sort of community centers, where they've historically had interest? Are they expanding the types of space and types of centers that they'll entertain? Just curious if you have any thoughts and maybe any examples of that to demonstrate some of the demand that you're seeing from some of the more traditionally mall-based retailers.

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

It runs the gamut. I mean, you have Claires now right out with the whole open-to-buy outside the mall. They're negotiating a deal up in Northborough. That's Wegmans and several TJs and Ulta, Sephora in several areas. I mean, Todd, it's -- almost everybody has an off-mall program now, lulu and Anthropologie kind of led that many years ago. And those two are very robust, Sephora then followed through. Foot Locker is very active in their off-mall strategy. I can't think of one that doesn't have an off-mall strategy or at least not trying it. So I think with the exception of, call it, obviously the luxury tenants, which they'll stay in high street or luxury malls, there is -- every single one of those tenants has at least engaged in conversation and said, "Do you have an off-mall platform?"

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. And as you sign leases with these retailers, obviously, their occupancy costs in sort of the open-air arena are lower than they generally would be in sort of the mall-based -- in sort of the malls. Are you achieving sort of premium rents, premium economics from those retailers? Or are they generally consistent with market?

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

No. You're getting premium. I mean, you're absolutely getting premium. I say you're getting premium at most centers. It's -- obviously, no occupancy cost can calculate that and that goes into our negotiations with them. Are they getting a reduction? And could they do equal or greater sale in being an open air and have greater four-wall EBITDA with a lower rent? Absolutely. So we are -- they're accretive in every single one of our deals from an ABR at the shopping center level.

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Because typically in the mall, Todd, occupancy cost of between 13% and 15%. And with open air, given the much lower common area costs, you're looking at 7% or 9%. So to back up Brian's point, there's absolutely a premium to be paid there in open air.

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. That's helpful. And then Mike, so leverage, it's inevitably going to bounce around a little bit while -- with all this investment activity. You're sort of warehousing certain assets before contributing them to the fund or certain parcels to the funds. And it seems like you're in that position today a little bit with some expected proceeds from parcel sales to come. You mentioned the five and a half to six times leverage target. How long until you're sort of within range? And where do you expect to be at year-end, I guess, pro forma the sort of $500 million of transactions and all the activity being completed?

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. Look, I mean, we're -- as you know, Todd, we're very focused on leverage and getting it back within our range, as you know, the five and a half to six and a half times. Our recent investment-grade rating is very indicative of our philosophy to be low-levered. And look, we have three strategies to get there. One is growth or EBITDA. And we are well on our way there. I mean, our rents this quarter were only 3% off our pre-COVID levels. Secondly, as Brian mentioned earlier in the Q&A here, we will opportunistically sell non-core assets or cede more of our existing portfolio to RGMZ and pay down could be high-coupon debt.

We have an opportunity with our mortgage that comes due early next year or like Brian said, redeploy accretively into acquisitions. And then the third thing, which I think is the most powerful option here and arrow that we have, is to continue to optimize the power of the platforms. With the right mix of debt and equity, we can absolutely accretively grow earnings and lower leverage at the same time. You have a whole lot of options when you can invest in yields at 7.5%. So we're -- where we are very focused on getting down as quickly as we possibly can, by the end of the year, we'll probably be a little bit north of 7%, absent -- all else equal, absent any of these other strategies that I mentioned being employed.

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. So a little bit north of where you sit today, just given all this activity and then it should get down...

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. All else equal, yes.

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. And then two more questions, I guess, on the model. So you mentioned the mortgage, I think that's Bridgewater Falls, right, so $52 million, 5.7%. What's the plan there as we turn the corner into 2022?

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. I think we're looking at many options. One is the unsecured market with private placement rates of between 3%, 3.5% on that front. We're also looking at the secured market possibly to put some leverage on our assets with the R2G joint venture, modest leverage. But again, those rates are sub-3%. And then like I said, there could be an opportunity to sell non-core assets. So we're looking at all three right now. We'll have more color on what we pick likely in the third quarter call.

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

Okay. And just lastly then, with the activity that's completed or expected to be completed by year-end, can you comment on where recurring fee income, how -- I guess, how it's trending from here, but where it might be at the end of the year on sort of an annualized basis as we think about 2022?

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes, I think if we get to the end of the fourth quarter, I think it's right about $0.005, about $400,000.

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

And that's from R2G and RGMZ combined?

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Yes. That's correct. And then they'll be a bit north of that if you include the preferred position we take in RGMZ. Like right now, we're forecasting about $200,000 in the fourth quarter for that. But that's going to be a bit more volatile. [Technical Issues]

Operator

Thank you. There are no further questions at this time. I would like to turn the floor back over to Brian Harper for any closing comments.

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Thank you. Our results for the second quarter, and so far, the third quarter, have clearly demonstrated our ability to create value for shareholders both organically and through acquisitions. Not only are we rapidly increasing our cash flow, but we are also enhancing the sustainability of our cash flow by improving tenant credit, our market mix, the quality of our properties and our continued focus on affluent, first-ring, infill suburbs. We also remain focused on advancing our ESG initiatives in order to further strengthen our business. With the company sized appropriately and repositioned for success in a rapidly evolving retail environment, we are confident in RPT's future. Thank you all for joining our call this morning. Have a wonderful day.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

Duration: 55 minutes

Call participants:

Vin Chao -- Senior Vice President Finance

Brian L. Harper -- President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee

Michael P. Fitzmaurice -- Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Derek Johnston -- Deutsche Bank -- Analyst

Linda Tsai -- Jefferies -- Analyst

Craig Schmidt -- Bank of America -- Analyst

Wes Golladay -- Baird -- Analyst

Mike Mueller -- JPMorgan -- Analyst

Floris Van Dijkum -- Compass Point -- Analyst

Todd Thomas -- KeyBanc Capital Markets -- Analyst

More RPT analysis

All earnings call transcripts

AlphaStreet Logo

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.