Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Policies)
3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2021
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Basis of Presentation
Basis of Presentation

The unaudited consolidated financial statements included herein have been prepared pursuant to accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and notes thereto of the Company’s and the Operating Partnership’s combined Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020. The December 31, 2020 balance sheet data in this Form 10-Q was derived from audited financial statements. Certain information and note disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America have been condensed or omitted pursuant to the SEC’s rules and regulations, although management believes that the disclosures are adequate to make the information presented not misleading. In the opinion of management, all adjustments (consisting only of normal recurring adjustments) necessary for a fair presentation of the financial statements for the interim periods have been made. The results of interim periods are not necessarily indicative of the results for a full year.
Consolidation The Company currently consolidates the Operating Partnership because it has (1) the power to direct the activities of the Operating Partnership that most significantly impact the Operating Partnership’s economic performance and (2) the obligation to absorb losses and the right to receive the residual returns of the Operating Partnership that could be potentially significant.
We consolidate properties that are wholly-owned and properties where we own less than 100% but control such properties. Control is determined using an evaluation based on accounting standards related to the consolidation of voting interest entities and variable interest entities (“VIE”). For joint ventures that are determined to be a VIE, we consolidate the entity where we are deemed to be the primary beneficiary. Determination of the primary beneficiary is based on whether an entity has (1) the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance, and (2) the obligation to absorb losses of the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE. Our determination of the primary beneficiary considers all relationships between us and the VIE, including management agreements and other contractual arrangements.

Investments in real estate joint ventures that we do not control but may exercise significant influence on are accounted for using the equity method of accounting. These investments are recorded initially at cost and subsequently adjusted for our equity in the joint venture’s net income or loss, cash contributions, distributions and other adjustments required under the equity method of accounting.

For certain investments in real estate joint ventures, we record our equity in the venture’s net income or loss under the hypothetical liquidation at book value method of accounting due to the structures and the preferences we receive on the distributions from our joint ventures pursuant to the respective joint venture agreements for those joint ventures. Under this method, we recognize income and loss in each period based on the change in liquidation proceeds we would receive from a hypothetical liquidation of our investment based on depreciated book value. Therefore, income or loss may be allocated disproportionately as compared to the ownership percentages due to specified preferred return rate thresholds and may be more or less than actual cash distributions received and more or less than what we may receive in the event of an actual liquidation.

We separately report investments in joint ventures for which accumulated distributions have exceeded investments in, and our share of net income or loss of, the joint ventures within other liabilities in the consolidated balance sheets because we are committed to provide further financial support to these joint ventures. The carrying amount of our investments in the Charlotte, Columbus, Galveston/Houston, and National Harbor joint ventures are less than zero because of financing or operating distributions that were greater than net income, as net income includes non-cash charges for depreciation and amortization.
“Noncontrolling interests in the Operating Partnership” reflects the Non-Company LP’s percentage ownership of the Operating Partnership’s units. “Noncontrolling interests in other consolidated partnerships” consist of outside equity interests in partnerships or joint ventures not wholly-owned by the Company or the Operating Partnership that are consolidated with the financial results of the Company and Operating Partnership because the Operating Partnership exercises control over the entities that own the properties. Noncontrolling interests are initially recorded in the consolidated balance sheets at fair value based upon purchase price allocations. Income is allocated to the noncontrolling interests based on the allocation provisions within the partnership or joint venture agreements.
Impairment of Long-Lived Assets
Accounts Receivable

The current novel COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19”) has had, and will continue to have, repercussions across local, national and global economies and financial markets. COVID-19 has impacted all states where our tenants operate their businesses or where our properties are located and measures taken to prevent or remediate COVID-19, including “shelter-in place” or “stay-at-home” orders or other quarantine mandates issued by local, state or federal authorities, have had an adverse effect on our business and the businesses of our tenants. The full extent of the adverse impact on, among other things, our results of operations, liquidity (including our ability to access capital markets), the possibility of future impairments of long-lived assets or our investments in unconsolidated joint ventures, our compliance with debt covenants, our ability to collect rent under our existing leases, our ability to renew and re-lease our leased space, the outlook for the retail environment, bankruptcies and potential further bankruptcies or other store closings and our ability to develop, acquire, dispose or lease properties for our portfolio, is unknown and will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted. Our results of operations, liquidity and cash flows have been and may continue to be in the future materially affected.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of our tenants requested rent deferrals, rent abatements or other types of rent relief during this pandemic. As a response, in late March 2020, we offered all tenants in our consolidated portfolio the option to defer 100% of April and May rents interest free, payable in equal installments due in January and February of 2021.
Historically, our accounts receivable from tenants has not been material; however, given the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic discussed above, our net accounts receivable balance, which is recorded in prepaids and other assets on the consolidated balance sheet, had increased to approximately $18.8 million at December 31, 2020, but decreased to approximately $12.8 million at March 31, 2021, primarily due to deferred rent collections. Straight-line rent adjustments recorded as a receivable in prepaids and other assets on the consolidated balance sheets was approximately $54.4 million as of March 31, 2021.

Individual leases are assessed for collectability and upon the determination that the collection of rents is not probable, accrued rent and accounts receivable are written-off as an adjustment to rental revenue. Revenue from leases where collection is deemed to be less than probable is recorded on a cash basis until collectability is determined to be probable. Further we assess whether operating lease receivables, at a portfolio level, are appropriately valued based upon an analysis of balances outstanding, historical bad debt levels and current economic trends including discussions with tenants for potential lease amendments. Our estimate of the collectability of accrued rents and accounts receivable is based on the best information available to us at the time of preparing the financial statements.

The duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, recent tenant bankruptcies and other significant uncertainties with the economy required significant judgment to be used when estimating the collection of rents through March 31, 2021. As a result of the actual collections of 2020 deferred rents due to be repaid during the first quarter of 2021, the Company recorded a $1.6 million reversal of rental revenue reserves during the first quarter of 2021 related to prior period rents that were previously deferred. As of March 31, 2021, remaining rental revenue reserves totaled $2.6 million, or 39% of the total remaining 2020 rents deferred or under negotiation.

Based on rents received through April 30, 2021, collections of contractual fixed rents billed of $85.6 million in the first quarter of 2021 for the consolidated portfolio were approximately 95%.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets

Rental property held and used by us is reviewed for impairment in the event that facts and circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. In such an event, we compare the estimated future undiscounted cash flows associated with the asset to the asset's carrying amount, and if less, recognize an impairment loss in an amount by which the carrying amount exceeds its fair value.

During the first quarter and fourth quarter of 2020, we recorded $45.7 million and $19.2 million in impairment charges, respectively, related to our Foxwoods outlet center in our consolidated statement of operations which equaled the excess of the carrying value over its estimated fair value.

If the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic cause economic and market conditions to deteriorate beyond our current expectations or if our expected holding periods for assets change, subsequent tests for impairment could result in additional impairment charges in the future. We can provide no assurance that material impairment charges with respect to our properties will not occur during 2021 or future periods.
New Accounting Pronouncements Recently issued accounting standardsOn March 12, 2020, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2020-04, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848) - Facilitation of the Effects of Reference Rate Reform on Financial Reporting, which provides optional expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships and other transactions that reference LIBOR or other reference rates expected to be discontinued because of reference rate reform. This ASU is effective as of March 12, 2020 through December 31, 2022. In January 2021, the FASB issued ASU 2021-01, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848), which refines the scope of Topic 848 and clarifies some of its guidance. Specifically, certain provisions in Topic 848, if elected by an entity, apply to derivative instruments that use an interest rate for margining, discounting, or contract price alignment that is modified as a result of reference rate reform. Amendments to the expedients and exceptions in Topic 848 capture the incremental consequences of the scope clarification and tailor the existing guidance to derivative instruments affected by the discounting transition. The amendments are effective immediately for all entities. An entity may elect to apply the amendments on a full retrospective basis. We have not adopted any of the optional expedients or exceptions through March 31, 2021, but will continue to evaluate the possible adoption of any such expedients or exceptions during the effective period as circumstances evolve.