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Shopco was founded in 1969 to develop enclosed regional malls. Its first development, Frederick Towne Mall in Frederick, Maryland, a 582,000 SF enclosed regional mall, opened in 1972 with JCPenney, Montgomery Ward, and Bon-Ton as its anchor tenants. The company continued to develop malls and open centers throughout Maryland and in other areas of the country, and also began acquiring shopping centers. Over three decades, the company developed or acquired over 14,000,000 SF of shopping centers, primarily along the East Coast but stretching as far west as Oklahoma and Texas. Some were developed in joint venture with real estate companies such as Simon Property Group and Taubman Centers, as well as banks and pension funds.

The company has acquired projects from, or sold projects to, companies such as General Growth Properties, JMB/ Heitman, The Mills Corporation, Macerich, Westfield Group and Walton Street Capital.

Shopco has also developed residential complexes in Southern Florida, as well as redeveloped office buildings in the Northeast and Midwest.