Retail Beat

Horizon Group sells seven centers for $93.5 million Chicago-based Horizon Group Properties Inc. has signed a contract with Santa Ana, Calif.-based Triple Net LLC for the sale of seven Horizon shopping centers. The contract provides for Triple Net to close the transaction in June. The contract price for the centers is $93.5 million, payable in cash at closing. The centers are subject to debt with a current principal balance of approximately $57 million, which Horizon Group pays at closing.

The centers included in the contract total 1.6 million sq. ft. and are located in Dry Ridge, Ky.; Holland, Monroe and Norton Shores, Mich.; Laughlin, Nev.; Medford, Minn.; and Warrenton, Mo. The sale reduces Horizon's GLA from 2.7 million sq. ft. to 1.1 million sq. ft.

The Village to splash onto Daytona waterfront Tropical art deco, window eyebrows, pastel walls and neon lights will decorate the Ocean Walk Beach Village, a $200 million mixed-use complex being developed by Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Ocean Walk Properties. The Village retail area is phase two of the project, which will be built in Daytona Beach's historic bandshell/waterfront park district. Houston-based Morris Architects is the designer for the 105,000 sq. ft. retail, restaurant and entertainment segment. This phase's completion date has not been announced.

The first phase of the project, Ocean Walk Resort, will include a 19-story, 300-unit condominium/timeshare development and an eight-level parking garage. Completion is scheduled for March 2001.

Transwestern Investment Co. acquires 19 properties Transwestern Investment Co. LLC (TIC) in Chicago has acquired 19 Class-A retail and mixed-use retail/office properties on behalf of Aslan Realty Partners LP, a TIC-sponsored institutional real estate fund.

The 19 properties, totaling approximately 900,000 sq. ft., include: CocoWalk in Miami; 222, 312 and 314 Clematis in West Palm Beach, Fla.; the American Bank Building, Jackson Tower and Mohawk Building in Portland, Ore.; Friendship Heights Centre in Washington, D.C.; 8400 and 8625 Germantown, 1424 Chestnut, and 1716 and 1627 Walnut, all in Philadelphia; 505 South Lake St., The Exchange Block and 132 West Colorado in Pasadena, Calif.; Girard Plaza and the Polo Building in La Jolla, Calif.; and 545 N. Michigan Ave. in Chicago.

Forest City, MJGT develop Short Pump Town Center A new shopping mall is coming to Richmond, Va., and bringing with it more than 1.1 million sq. ft. of retail space. Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises and Richmond-based MJGT Associates are developing Short Pump Town Center. Construction of the open-air, main street center is expected to begin in the fall and is slated for completion in summer 2002.

Letters of intent have been signed with anchors Lord & Taylor, Hecht's, Dillard's and Nordstrom, and with entertainment retailer Edwards Cinemas, which will operate a 22-screen and IMAX theater. The remaining spaces will house boutique and specialty stores.

Duke-Weeks to develop Stony Creek Marketplace Ready to take advantage of the burgeoning growth of northeast suburban Indianapolis, locally based Duke-Weeks Retail Group is developing Stony Creek Marketplace, a 410,000 sq. ft. regional center. Construction will begin in early 2001 with completion slated for fall of that year.

The architectural theme will include upscale brick and stucco facades and detailed finishes. Tentative plans call for a 12-screen cinema and a home improvement anchor as well as other retail spaces of 12,000 to 40,000 sq. ft.

Cranberry Commons close to fruition The Woodmont Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas, and its partners, Cranberry Township, Pa.-based Creative Real Estate and Huntingdon, Pa.-based Colony Holding Co., have leased the final anchor tenant at Cranberry Commons center. Linens 'N' Things has leased 31,296 sq. ft. at its 552,000 sq. ft. Cranberry Township project, which is scheduled to open this summer.

Other anchor tenants include Target, Lowe's, Kohl's, T.J. Maxx, Staples and PetsMart. There are approximately 15,000 sq. ft. of space and three pad sites remaining on the property.

Vestar Development to build Desert Ridge Marketplace An open-air, pedestrian-oriented environment is what Phoenix-based Vestar Development Co. has in store for its Desert Ridge Marketplace, a $150 million, 1.2 million sq. ft. retail and lifestyle entertainment center in Phoenix. Anchors will include Barnes & Noble, Tower Records and a 20-screen, 4,000-seat AMC Theatre.

The retail will be divided into five areas linked by pedestrian promenades with themed districts, which will include: hard goods, home design, neighbor convenience, fashion, and restaurant and lifestyle/entertainment. Plans call for outdoor-fireplaces, fountains, parks and streetscapes. The design will include stucco in gray and creme, with stone and wood finishes.

Architects include MCG Architecture of Beverly Hills, Calif., and SGPA of San Diego. McCarthy Brothers Co. of Phoenix is the general contractor, and Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Retail Services is the leasing agent.

Strong leasing reported at The Commons at Holmdel Leasing is hot and heavy at the Commons at Holmdel, reports joint-venture partners Denholtz Associates and The Zaro Group, both of New Jersey. Formerly a Lily Tulip facility in Holmdel, N.J., the 1 million sq. ft. mixed-use development includes retail, office, assisted living and an adult residential community.

At press time, leasing commitments for 226,000 sq. ft. of the 235,000 sq. ft. retail component had been received from A&P, Linens 'N' Things, The Gap, Old Navy Clothing Co., The Vitamin Shoppe, Houlihan's, Barnes & Noble, Bath & Body Works, Pier 1 Imports and Noodle Kidoodle.

The Commons was designed by Rotwein & Blake Associated Architects and Menlo Engineering, both of New Jersey.

Frogs, rock concerts, special retailing, focus on teens From frogs to rock concerts to special teen areas, retailers and developers are vying for teen dollars. According to a Rand Youth Poll, teens today have more money at their disposal than ever before. The strong economy is making parents of teens more affluent and more willing to spend that money on their children. Maddy Dychtwald, a generational trends specialist with Kent-Dychtwald Inc. a market research firm in Orinda, Calif., says, "It's not unusual for kids to get $50 a week." This extra money has attracted the attention of some developers, retailers and mall owners who have initiated teen programs to encourage them to spend.

Developer Simon Property Group in Indianapolis has designed a program to attract teens to its malls called An electronic device called a ZapStick, which teens pick up at a computer terminal area called "The Pond," is carried throughout the mall and used to scan the products they want their parents to buy for them. The ZapStick records those purchases on a computer terminal back at The Pond where the parents can access the information online at

"Dad gets an e-mail from the teen that says, 'Click here on,'" explains Melanie Alshab, president of "Dad then goes to the wish list, where he can buy online from at the retailer's Website. He can also print out the list and just buy the items at the mall."

This way parents do not have to hand their child a credit card and hope for the best. Either way, the retailer and Simon win. The program has been successfully launched at two malls, Gwinnett Place Mall and the Mall of Georgia, both in the Atlanta area.

General Growth Properties (GGP) of Chicago and the Eastman Kodak Co., recently kicked off their "Through Your Eyes" tour, a free promotion designed to bring teens into GGP's malls. The 20-mall tour features free concerts by groups such as "Youngstown," a male Gen-Y rock group, post-concert photo opportunities and photo signing events to encourage 14- to 17-year-olds to visit the mall. Special fan-packs from retailer Sam Goody, which include a one-time-use camera, a CD and information about the featured band, are also used as incentives.

New York-based Shopco Advisory Corp., which develops, leases and manages the Ridgmar shopping center in Fort Worth, Texas, has designed a "Teen Area" as part of its $70 million renovation. This separate area is designed for teens and features retailers that target the teen market. Some of those stores include Buckle, which specializes in jeans, and Hot Topic, a retailer of "rockability duds" or clothes for rocking 'n' rolling.

These programs have been designed to attract the teen market, which has constantly grown, according to a Rand Youth Pool, since 1953. Currently, the teen market is growing at 15.2% a year. Watch out baby-boomers and every other age group. The younger crowd may soon be the biggest influence of what graces retailers racks and shelves.

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