DEALS

Baker Katz acquires 30,000 sq. ft. of land in Houston

BY Melonie Messina

Houston — Baker Katz, an X Team International partner and full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in retail tenant representation, investment sales, and project development and leasing, announced that it has purchased 30,000 sq. ft. of land in Houston and completed a 7,000-sq.-ft. lease on behalf of Advance Auto Parts. Construction will slated to begin this month with an opening in May 2016.

“This property is located at a heavily-trafficked intersection with demographics that are favorable to auto parts sales,” said Kenneth Katz, Co-founder and principal for Baker Katz. “Advance Auto Parts will be well-positioned for success in this custom-built facility.”

Traci Holman and Jason Baker of Baker Katz represented Advance Auto Parts.

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OPERATIONS

Former lululemon CIO rejoins company as board member

BY Mike Troy

Kathryn Henry is back at lululemon athletica inc., in a new role as a member of the company’s board of directors, a move the company’s founder contends is an important first step to making larger changes.

Henry served as chief information officer, logistics and distribution at lululemon athletica from 2010 to 2014. In that role, she oversaw all global information and technology operations for the company. Since 2015, she has served as a strategic consultant for retail and technology companies, in addition to venture capital, investment and consulting firms seeking executive level guidance.

"Kathryn's 20 years of strategic IT and retail experience will add a valuable perspective to our board of directors," said Michael Casey, co-chairman of lululemon athletica. "A long-time friend of lululemon, Kathryn embodies our spirit of community and brings talent, expertise and energy to the table."

Henry’s appointment was the result of Chip Wilson, founder of lululemon athletica and holder of 14.5% of the outstanding shares, exercising his right to nominate a board member.

“It’s a great day for lululemon employees and shareholders. The appointment of Kathryn to the board is an important first step in the implementation of changes that are needed with respect to culture and knowledge of technical vertical retailing,” Wilson said in a separately issued press release. “Kathryn is intimately familiar with the company. She understands both the company’s business and the importance of its culture – a culture that provided best in class financial metrics. “I also continue to believe changes are needed with respect to corporate governance.”

Prior to joining lululemon in 2010, Henry worked at Gap, Inc., where she served as VP and CIO of International IT and Gap North America and was responsible for the systems support of key international growth initiatives. Prior to that, Henry was vice president of Dockers Business Divestiture and VP of global IT strategy and development at Levi Strauss & Co.

Wilson credited Henry with building teams that led to lululemon’s rapid growth and a wide range of other accomplishments.

“In addition to her understanding of technical omnichannel retailing, Kathryn will bring to the board an understanding and appreciation of the soft side of the business – the un-measurable factors that made lululemon great and unique, such as culture and training,” Wilson added.

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REAL ESTATE

Brixmor Property Group signs grocery-anchor at Highridge Plaza

BY Melonie Messina

Yonkers, N.Y. — Brixmor Property Group announced it has strengthened its tenant offering at Highridge Plaza in Yonkers, New York, with the addition of Hmart, an Asian-American supermarket chain. Hmart is scheduled to open a 41,764-sq.-ft. store in fourth quarter 2016.

“There has been a lot of interest in our community for a high-quality grocer to join Highridge Plaza, and we are thankful for Brixmor’s ability to bring our neighborhood a leading supermarket chain like Hmart,” said Mike Spano, Mayor of Yonkers, New York. “Hmart is one of the top-15 fastest growing retailers in National Retail Federation’s list of Hot 100 Retailers, and its presence is a nice complement to the diverse mix of prominent national and local retailers already operating at Highridge Plaza.”

Hmart is a 34-year-old supermarket chain, started with the first store in Woodside, NY back in 1982, offering robust and unique food culture that also promotes a rich and healthy lifestyle. Today, Hmart has over 50 stores in 11 states.

"Highridge Plaza is one of our core properties and a premier shopping center in lower Westchester County, and it was important for us to quickly fill the void in this market for a strong grocer offering a variety of cuisine and food options,” said Barry Rodenstein, president, North Region, of Brixmor Property Group. “We are pleased to announce this agreement with Hmart so soon after Pathmark’s departure. This will have a positive impact on Highridge Plaza, drawing thousands of customers per week while providing Yonkers with a top-tier grocer to serve the community.”

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