Ralphs Grocery Sr. VP Tom Gast Named President & Partner of De Rito Partners West; De Rito Partners Plans to Spend $100 Million in CA & NV

January 19, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
PHOENIX, AZ – De Rito Partners Development, Inc., a commercial real estate development company based in Phoenix, Arizona, announced today that former Ralphs Grocery Company Senior Vice President Tom Gast, a 26-year veteran of the supermarket industry, has been named President and Partner of De Rito Partners West. Gast will be based out of the company’s new California office at 135 Chaparral Court, Suite 100, Anaheim Hills, CA 92808. The office phone number is 714.921.4300.

As President and Partner of De Rito Partners West, Gast will be responsible for the acquisition and development of retail, mixed-use and redevelopment opportunities in California and Nevada. According to Marty De Rito, CEO of De Rito Partners Development, Inc., “Tom Gast is one of the most knowledgeable retail professionals on the west coast and is a natural fit to handle De Rito Partners’ expansion plans. With his wealth of experience and knowledge in California and Nevada, Tom brings an immediate level of expertise and reputation that will prove to be invaluable to our plans to expand into these markets." De Rito Partners plans to spend more than $100 million in these areas within the next 18 to 24 months.

De Rito Partners, Inc. and De Rito Partners Development, Inc. have successfully developed 19 retail properties exceeding over five million square feet primarily in the Phoenix metropolitan market. With Kimco Developers, Inc., one of Kimco Realty Corporation’s (NYSE: KIM) REIT subsidiaries, De Rito Partners is currently developing the highly acclaimed Mesa Riverview in Metropolitan Phoenix, a 236-acre mixed-use project which will include a 1.3 million-square-foot retail/entertainment center featuring Arizona’s first Bass Pro Shops, 33 acres of auto dealerships, an eight-acre hotel park, and a 38-acre business park.

“I have known Tom Gast for many years. His considerable experience, in depth market knowledge and valued reputation is a huge asset to De Rito Partners. I am looking forward to working with him in finding and creating new opportunities on the West Coast for Kimco,” said Jerry Friedman, President of Kimco Developers, Inc. of Los Angeles.

"I am thrilled to work with Marty De Rito and the excellent team he has built at De Rito Partners," said Gast. "They have an outstanding reputation within the retail development and brokerage communities and a valued relationship with their joint venture partner Kimco, both of which are very important to me and to the success of our company. With their vote of confidence and more than $100 million to invest in the California and Nevada markets, I am prepared to aggressively pursue new opportunities in geographical areas that I have worked extensively in my past role with Ralphs Grocery Company."

Gast will be pursuing all retail opportunities in the California and Nevada markets including ground-up shopping center development and acquisition of existing properties with value-add and/or parcelization opportunities.

“With Tom Gast heading up our West Coast operation, De Rito Partners can aggressively pursue our goal of acquiring additional projects totaling more than one million square feet over the next three to five years,” De Rito said.

Gast, as Senior Vice President for Los Angeles-based Ralphs Grocery Company, a division of the Kroger Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, the nation’s largest supermarket chain with annual sales in excess of $60 billion, was responsible for overseeing new and existing store development projects for Ralphs supermarkets and Food 4 Less price impact stores in California and Nevada, including property management, surplus property dispositions and the procurement of supporting backside warehousing and distribution facilities for both formats. He has been responsible for acquiring, developing and disposing of hundreds of grocery stores during his lengthy career as well as numerous remodels and store expansions. Previously, Gast served as the Director of Real Estate for American Stores Properties, Inc. prior to its merger with Ralphs Grocery Company in 1995. He started his career with Alpha Beta Company in 1979.

Gast is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives, and has been a frequent panelist for the Urban Land Institute and Food Marketing Institute. He is also a participant in Habitat for Humanity, building homes for underprivileged families in Mexico. He is a past board member for Yorba Linda's youth basketball league (one of Orange County’s largest), where he has coached basketball for 12 years.

Gast holds a California Department of Real Estate Broker License and is a graduate of California State University at Fullerton where he was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, a Masters in Real Estate Finance, and continues to lecture on a regular basis.

About Kimco Developers, Inc.
Kimco Developers, Inc. is a subsidiary of Kimco Realty Corporation, a publicly traded real estate investment trust that has specialized in shopping center acquisitions, development and management for more than 45 years. The company owns and operates the nation’s largest portfolio of neighborhood and community shopping centers with interests in 1,326 properties comprising approximately 173.5 million square feet of leasable space located throughout 45 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico.

About De Rito Partners
Founded in 1992, De Rito Partners, Inc. and De Rito Partners Development, Inc. are brokerage and commercial development companies based in Phoenix, Arizona. De Rito has successfully developed 19 retail properties exceeding five million square feet. The firm exclusively represents 52 retailer accounts and provides leasing and sales services for 150+ properties. De Rito Partners, in conjunction with Kimco Developers, is currently developing Mesa Riverview, which includes a 1.3 million-square-foot entertainment and retail shopping center, a 33-acre auto park featuring three dealerships, the 38-acre Riverview Point business park and eight acres targeted for hotel development. Mesa Riverview features Metropolitan Phoenix’s first Cinemark movieplex, which opened in May 2006, and will feature Arizona’s first Bass Pro Shop (opening May 2007). De Rito is also developing Gilbert Esplanade, a 68-acre furniture-themed retail development and the 100-acre Chandler 202 Auto Park, with Kimco Developers. For more information on De Rito, visit www.derito.com or call (480) 834-8500.

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