Washington Prime Group Elevates the Dining Experience at Polaris Fashion Place

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE: WPG) today announced a new multi-tenant food and beverage venue slated to hit Columbus-based Polaris Fashion Place® in 2020. The venue will be home to an all-local culinary lineup, featuring at least two dining options at a time, with plans to incubate local food and beverage purveyors on a rotational basis.

This newly created space at Polaris Fashion Place will be adjacent to the center’s existing food hall, which has been fully leased with a dynamic mix of local, regional and national food and beverage offerings since the center opened in 2001.

A planned renovation for the existing food hall, which will see aesthetic upgrades in 2020, includes new seating and flooring, communal gathering areas and a different overall flow to the space. The new look-and-feel will encourage guests to hang out and extend their visit.  

Lou Conforti, CEO and Director of Washington Prime Group, stated: “Growing up half Italian and Jewish on the west side of Chicago, two themes dominated my upbringing: Family and food. In my second floor apartment, one was as likely to feast upon chicken cacciatore and manicotti Saturday evening while Sunday’s bill of fare might consist of kreplach soup and pastrami. Rest assured, these meals were more often than not attended by a cast of beloved characters no longer with us such as my grandparents Lydia and Luigi as well as Aunts Grace and Sylvia. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which side of the family to which the aforementioned belonged.

“Fast forward to today and while I can’t replicate the frenetic chaos of my childhood dinner table, I can assure you we are making food and beverage alternatives at our assets one heck of a lot more interesting. This means supplementing our longstanding stalwarts with local establishments that truly appreciate the eating and drinking preferences of our guests.

“Turning to Columbus, one thing for sure is they know food. As the fourteenth largest (and one of the fastest growing) cities within the US, there is a veritable smorgasbord of ethnicities which call the Capital City home. So why not serve up döner and bibimbap alongside trusted mainstays at Polaris Fashion Place? There’s also going to be a rotating convoy of food trucks to further spice things up so our guests can wash it all down with a local craft brewery beverage, alcoholic or otherwise.

“I almost forgot. It is practically sacrilege in Columbus not to end one’s meal with a buckeye.  Don’t worry, we have you covered.”

Local food truck operators, food purveyors selling their goods at Columbus-area festivals and markets, or a completely new concept – these are the businesses Polaris Fashion Place is looking to attract to the new venue. These new local tenants will benefit from a team of leasing and marketing professionals dedicated to their success. Following the incubation period, the Company will work with each food purveyor to consider potentially relocating them on a more permanent basis at the center.

About Washington Prime Group
Washington Prime Group Inc. is a retail REIT and a recognized leader in the ownership, management, acquisition and development of retail properties. The Company combines a national real estate portfolio with its expertise across the entire shopping center sector to increase cash flow through rigorous management of assets and provide new opportunities to retailers looking for growth throughout the U.S. Washington Prime Group® and Polaris Fashion Place are registered trademarks of the Company. Learn more at www.washingtonprime.com.

Contacts
Lisa A. Indest, CAO & EVP, Finance, 614.887.5844 or lisa.indest@washingtonprime.com
Kimberly A. Green, VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications, 614.887.5647 or kim.green@washingtonprime.com

Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 which represent the current expectations and beliefs of management of Washington Prime Inc. (“WPG”) concerning the proposed transactions, the anticipated consequences and benefits of the transactions and the targeted close date for the transactions, and other future events and their potential effects on WPG, including, but not limited to, statements relating to anticipated financial and operating results, the company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, cost savings and other statements, including words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “will,” “should,” “may,” and other similar expressions.  Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of WPG’s management, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of WPG to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Such factors include, without limitation: changes in asset quality and credit risk; ability to sustain revenue and earnings growth; changes in political, economic or market conditions generally and the real estate and capital markets specifically; the impact of increased competition; the availability of capital and financing; tenant or joint venture partner(s) bankruptcies; the failure to increase mall store occupancy and same-mall operating income; risks associated with the acquisition, (re)development, expansion, leasing and management of properties; changes in market rental rates; trends in the retail industry; relationships with anchor tenants; risks relating to joint venture properties; costs of common area maintenance; competitive market forces; the level and volatility of interest rates; the rate of revenue increases as compared to expense increases; the financial stability of tenants within the retail industry; the restrictions in current financing arrangements or the failure to comply with such arrangements; the liquidity of real estate investments; the impact of changes to tax legislation and WPG’s tax positions; failure to qualify as a real estate investment trust; the failure to refinance debt at favorable terms and conditions; loss of key personnel; material changes in the dividend rates on securities or the ability to pay dividends on common shares or other securities; possible restrictions on the ability to operate or dispose of any partially-owned properties; the failure to achieve earnings/funds from operations targets or estimates; the failure to achieve projected returns or yields on (re)development and investment properties (including joint ventures); expected gains on debt extinguishment; changes in generally accepted accounting principles or interpretations thereof; terrorist activities and international hostilities; the unfavorable resolution of legal proceedings; the impact of future acquisitions and divestitures; assets that may be subject to impairment charges; significant costs related to environmental issues; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in WPG’s statements and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those described under “Risk Factors”.  The forward-looking statements in this communication are qualified by these risk factors. Each statement speaks only as of the date of this press release and WPG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.  Actual results may differ materially from current projections, expectations, and plans, if any.  Investors, potential investors and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.

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