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Heard On The Floor

CoStar Group Inc. is taking a deliberate approach in ramping up its retail operations. The company is aiming to add 600,000 retail properties by the end of next year to the 40,000 it has now--much of which came in its recent acquisition of the National Research Bureau from Claritas). The company’s aim is to be the preeminent data source for market rents, vacancy rates and other industry metrics. ... The tenant-in-common structure is making its presence felt in the retail. Passco Real Estate Enterprises Inc. will soon close on a $110 million deal for the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles. SCI Real Estate is also at the show, hunting for retail deals. But lenders are still wary of the structure. One major player on the finance side told us that they are financing TIC deals, but still don’t feel all that comfortable with the inherent risk of the structure. ... The city of Phoenix is expected to double in size in the next 15 years, and Westcor has itself positioned to take advantage of that. As part of what it is calling the Phoenix 20/20 plan, Westcor will be involved in commercial development on 2,000 acres at several sites. The most ambitious piece is the Prasada master-planned community project, which will eventually include 4 million square feet of retail to go along with office and residential space. ... Though Quizno’s is still dwarfed in size by Subway - it has just over 4,000 locations compared to 22,000 for Subway - it clearly is posing a challenge. Subway has recently added toasted subs to its menu to challenge the upstart. Quizno’s, for its part, plans to open 1,300 new stores this year and has 2,000 franchisees in its system that have already paid their fees and are just waiting for sites. “In our mind, Subway’s move validates what we’re doing,” says Dominick Voso, executive vice president of development and operations for Quizno’s. “But we think we do it better.” ... Taubman Centers Inc. has an ambitious slate of new malls in its development pipeline. The projects range from its traditional upscale mall base to its joint venture with The Gordon Group on the Pier in Atlantic City to a mixed-use urban redevelopment in Salt Lake City. The Utah project will feature office, multi-family, hotel and retail all on one site. “It’s probably the most complicated construction project we’ve ever done,” says Steven Kieras, senior vice president of development for Taubman.

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