Retail Beat

Former Emporium store to become urban center Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises is renovating a historic landmark in San Francisco. The former Emporium department store, which was built in 1896 and survived the 1906 Earthquake and fires, is being redeveloped into a 1.6 million sq. ft. urban center called 835 Market St. The $400 million project is slated to begin construction this year with completion expected in fall 2002.

Stretching from Market to Mission Streets between Fourth and Fifth Streets, the mixed-use project will include a 370,000 sq. ft. Bloomingdale's; an additional 480,000 sq. ft. of retail and entertainment space; 50,000 sq. ft. of office space; and a 465-room, five-star hotel.

The Emporium's renovation will include restoration of its historic facade; the addition of a new glass facade on the building's Mission Street side; and elevation of the 102-foot diameter steel and glass dome to 54 feet. A 45-foot wide colonnade that extends through the project's center, creates a sense of transparency between floors.

Baltimore-based RTKL created the center's design, and KA Inc. in Cleveland is the executive architect. Kohn-Pederson Fox Associates in New York is the design architect for Bloomingdale's.

Historic Westside Village to get Publix anchor Publix Super Markets has committed to build a 27,000 sq. ft. grocery store and to a 20-year lease in the $130 million Historic Westside Village in Atlanta. Publix's is under construction and is expected to be completed in December.

The project has letters of intent from local and national retailers for more than 50% of the project's 250,000 sq. ft. street-level retail space. The development will also include multifamily housing, office space, restaurants and entertainment.

Construction of Zellers at Bramalea City Centre begins Construction has begun on a 121,000 sq. ft. Zeller's department store at the Bramalea City Centre in Brampton, Ontario. The revamped former Eaton's store will cost $5 million and will include more readable signage, wider aisles, self-serve cosmetics, a 1950s-style diner, a reading area and a new food area. The store is slated to open in mid-August.

The 1 million sq. ft. Bramalea City Centre has 270 specialty shops including The Bay, Sears, Sport Chek and Ultra Foods. The center also has 73,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 145-room Holiday Inn Select Hotel. Built in 1973, the project is owned by Gentra Inc. and managed by Brookfield Management Services Ltd., both in Toronto.

MainStreet at FlatIron under construction in Colorado MainStreet at FlatIron, an open-air, mixed-use development, is under construction in Broomfield, Colo. The 657,000 sq. ft. project consists of 540,000 sq. ft. of retail, 110,000 sq. ft. of office space, 7,000 sq. ft. of restaurants and a 200-room hotel. The retail shops and restaurants are slated to open in the fall with the hotel and offices scheduled for early-2001.

The pedestrian-friendly development is designed with walkways and plazas and will be linked to a planned shuttle, which will take shoppers and office workers to adjacent centers. Natural stone, colors indigenous to Colorado and the local history are being used to blend the center's design into the surrounding topography.

Coalton Acres LLC, a subsidiary of Castle Rock, Colo.-based MidCities Co., is the developer. Baltimore-based RTKL/ID8 is the designer of the project, and The Neenan Co. of Denver is the architect and contractor.

The Block at Orange adds to retail and entertainment fun The Block at Orange, an 811,000 sq. ft. retail and entertainment center in Orange, Calif., owned by The Mills Corp. in Arlington, Va., and Munich, Germany-based KanAm, is adding 11 new tenants. Polly Esther's/Culture Club, a hip 1970s- and 1980s-themed nightclub enters the Southern California market, and The Zone, a Canadian family-oriented entertainment concept, makes its U.S. debut at The Block. Also, MARS Music - The Music Maker's Destination and Burke Williams Day Spa and Massage Center will be additions to the project. All four major retailers will open later this year.

Seven other new merchants including: a Hallmark Gold Crown store,, California Treats, Eye Candy, Falafel King,Fashion Nails and O[superscript]2 Cafe, are either open or will be opening soon.

The Block at Orange, which debuted in 1998, saw 12 million visitors in 1999.

Hollywood Market receives L.A. City Council approval Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Regent Properties has received unanimous approval from the board of the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency to develop Hollywood Marketplace. The center was original retail complex, but to meet Community Redevelopment Association (CRA) criteria, has been redesigned as a 105,000 sq. ft. ground-level retail development that supports two mid-rise structures with 300 condominium units. The retail space construction is scheduled to begin this fall with completion expected fall 2001. Occupancy of the residential component is scheduled for spring 2002.

Hollywood Marketplace's design will incorporate the facade of the existing TAV Celebrity Theater Building on Vine Street, which will include the restoration of the building's sign trellis and Submarine Tower.

Joint venture develops Jefferson Pointe Jefferson Pointe, an open-air, 550,000 sq. ft. lifestyle center, is being developed in Fort Wayne, Ind. The $75 million project is a joint venture between L&B Realty Advisors Inc., an affiliate of Boston-based United Asset Management Corp., and R.E.D. Capital Development of Scottsdale, Ariz. The development's opening is scheduled for spring 2001.

Jefferson Pointe, which is more than 65% pre-leased, will be anchored by Von Maur, Bed Bath & Beyond, Old Navy Clothing Co. and Barnes & Noble, and will feature specialty retailers American Eagle Outfitters, Pacific Sunwear and Buckle.

Two General Real Estate Corp.'s centers to get Hispanic supermarket Two Miami-based General Real Estate Corp. (GREC) shopping centers under-construction in Florida, will soon be home to Hispanic retailer, Sedano's Supermarket.

Sedano's will unveil its new 40,000 sq. ft. prototype, which will include a deli department, discount pharmacy and photo lab, at Villaverde Shopping Center in Hialeah and Kendall Park Plaza in Kendall. GREC will complete construction of the two 90,000 sq. ft. strip centers in the fall.

To save old buildings or not - that is the question Market Place at Fifth and Forbes, a $27 million, 400,000 to 600,000 sq. ft. retail and entertainment center planned for downtown Pittsburgh, is surrounded by controversy. A proposal by Chicago-based developer Urban Retail Properties and Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy for a $480 million demolition of 60 historic buildings and the elimination of 125 regional businesses has business owners and locals up in arms.

The plan involves razing buildings on Fifth and Forbes avenues and in Market Square, and the taking of these businesses by eminent domain. The Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation (PHLF) is trying to preserve some buildings and businesses to keep the history of the area alive and "to keep some of the Pittsburgh flavor," says Cathy Broucek, assistant to PHLF's president.

Doug Root, director of communications for the mayor's office, says the buildings and some businesses are not compatible with national retailers. "Some can't fit in because their businesses are already in serious trouble," says Root. "Others might not be able to meet normal financial requirements." However, he adds, Urban Retail has made a commitment to include local businesses that are a good risk.

As for the buildings, he says the city solicited proposals from developers for a project area involving one block. Root says there was interest from a few developers but they all agreed they would not be interested in only one block or in "the buildings as they exist."

A plan by the mayor and Urban Retail proposes saving 40% of the buildings' facades at $320,000 each, but not the buildings, says Root. The plan calls for new buildings to be built the same height as the original ones and the facades reapplied.

Broucek disputes Root's claim that developers will not use older buildings and says there are retailers like Banana Republic that look for renovated buildings.

Also, Broucek is skeptical about local businesses being included. "I understand [local businesses] will have to meet the same financial requirements as the national retailers," she says. "I'm not sure they will be able to do that." But Root says locally owned Candy-Rama and Jenny Lee Bakery could probably survive partnered with a national retailer.

Van Geroux, vice president of marketing for Urban Retail Properties, says his company is trying to compromise. "We are sensitive to everyone's concerns, and we want to do the project right," he says. "There is no sense in doing a project that is going to cause friction. We want the development to succeed, so doing anything less [than compromising] would not be prudent."

But compromise is keeping the project from progressing. Broucek thinks the City Council vote may be delayed until August or September because of the economic impact studies. Root says slow progress is not unusual for Pittsburgh. "The mayor is fond of saying that it is very hard for Pittsburghers to embrace change," he says. "The mayor makes the joke that if you find out the world is ending, you should high-tail it to Pittsburgh because you'll have another 10 years to live."

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