Banana Republic opens first store in Russia
San Francisco — Gap has opened its first Banana Republic store in Russia, in Moscow’s AfiMall City. In related news, the company will open its first Gap store in Belgrade, Serbia, on Friday.
“We are very proud to not only be introducing Banana Republic to Russia, but also opening our 200th franchise store,” said Stephen Sunnucks, president, international, Gap. “This is a significant landmark for our goal of growing our franchise store base to 400 by 2014.”
The Serbian store will be managed under a franchise deal with The Marinopoulos Group.
GGP Malls host 9/11 remembrance events
Chicago — General Growth Properties, along with more than 130 of its malls, is encouraging employees and local residents in communities across the country to join them as they take pause to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of September 11.
In partnership with the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, GGP is performing acts of service and encouraging others to do the same by registering a pledge on www.911day.org. The 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance was created to inspire millions of people to annually pay tribute by pledging to perform good deeds, support charitable causes, volunteer and engage in acts of compassion.
“September 11, 2001 is one of those dates in our lifetime we’ll always remember where we were and the emotions we felt. I am proud GGP is honoring the 10-year anniversary by hosting remembrance events in our local communities and inspiring others to make a difference,” said Sandeep Mathrani, CEO, GGP. “Whether it’s making a donation to a local charity, or maybe more importantly, donating our time, we all should take pause to honor the heroic deeds that took place that day and those who lost their lives.”
Service and Remembrance activities and events taking place throughout the GGP portfolio include: Chicago-based staff participating in a 9/11 Signature Service Day to help revitalize a school with players from the Chicago White Sox; a remembrance ceremony at Ala Moana Center (Honolulu, Hawaii) with military buglers, drill teams and a hula dedication; the placement of 3,000 American flags at the main entrance of Coral Ridge Mall (Coralville, Iowa), representing the lives lost on 9/11; planting a remembrance garden in front of Oakwood Center (Gretna, La.) that will be dedicated to the first responders; and a collection drive at Natick Mall (Natick, Mass.) to support the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund service project to build 1,000 care packages for service men and women overseas.
Other activities taking place include special lunch deliveries for local fire fighters, tribute walks, in-kind donations and other volunteer events to support active military.
In addition, displays, posters, signs and brochures blanketing 130 GGP malls will encourage shoppers to visit www.911day.org to make a pledge of support. A powerful public service announcement will flash across the giant video screen at Fashion Show on the Las Vegas Strip, as well as on video screens in GGP malls across the country.
DDR and Glimcher Realty Trust announce strategic asset swap
Columbus, Ohio — Developers Diversified Realty and Glimcher Realty Trust announced Wednesday that the companies have entered into an agreement to swap two assets better aligned with the other’s operating platforms and strategies.
DDR will sell Glimcher its open-air mall, Town Center Plaza, in Kansas City, Kan., and Glimcher will sell DDR its power center, Polaris Towne Center, in Columbus, Ohio.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011.
“We are excited about this transaction that not only enhances the quality of Glimcher’s mall portfolio but is also expected to be accretive to our earnings,” said Michael P. Glimcher, chairman and CEO of Glimcher.
Town Center Plaza, which Glimcher will purchase from DDR for approximately $139 million, is a 650,000-sq.-ft. open-air mall anchored by Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods and features Pottery Barn and Anthropologie.
“The simultaneous disposition of Town Center Plaza and acquisition of Polaris Towne Center is consistent with our strategic objective of simplifying our portfolio and focusing on what we do best,” said Daniel B. Hurwitz, president and CEO of DDR.
Polaris Towne Center, which DDR will purchase from Glimcher for approximately $80 million, is a 700,000-sq.-ft. market-dominant asset anchored by Target, Lowe’s, Kroger, Best Buy and TJ Maxx. Polaris Towne Center will be the seventh asset owned by DDR in the Columbus MSA.