REAL ESTATE

Baybrook Mall’s Texas-scale expansion

BY Michael Fickes

Friendswood, Texas — The 1.2-million-sq.-ft. Baybrook Mall in Houston is getting another 550,000 sq. ft. The mall owner, General Growth Properties, and the landowner, a CDC Houston-managed entity, have formed a joint venture to carry out he project. Work will begin in early May and completed by the 2015 holiday season.

Except for outlet centers, few new shopping centers are going up today. As the economy continues to rebound, retailers are eager to open new stores in “A” locations, which, like Baybrook, are usually near 100% occupancy. Retailer demand, then, has sparked mall expansions across the country.

In an era of shopping center expansion, Baybrook’s half million plus new sq. ft. will likely rank as one of the largest.

The multi-million dollar Baybrook expansion will add more than 30 retailers, 10 restaurants and entertainment and hospitality venues to the property.

On the north side of the mall, a new 285,000-sq.-ft. lifestyle expansion connects to the existing property between Forever 21 and Dillard’s.

A 270,000-sq.-ft. power center will add a variety of big-box anchor tenants, restaurants and family-friendly activities.

To accommodate increased traffic, the expansion will also add a single-story parking deck.

The project includes the addition of a lawn the size of a football field. Envisioned as a gathering spot for the community, the lawn will provide benches and seating areas and offer play areas for kids and venues for events.


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REAL ESTATE

Brea Mall completes major renovation

BY Michael Fickes

Brea, Calif. — Simon Property Group and Brea Mall are celebrating putting the finishing touches on the renovation of the property with a special community event and a series of showcase weekends throughout April and May.

The renovation included redesigned mall entrances and new signage, flooring, landscaping, glass handrails and overhead lighting. The mall now displays updated textures, colors and amenities such as soft seating and charging stations.

A new Play Area has become a popular amenity for families. It features surrounding soft seating, a playhouse featuring a chalkboard, and various cars, boats and plane play fixtures inspired by the Simon Kidgits Club characters.

Brea Mall’s new family restrooms, which are also a hit, feature five changing stations, two nursing rooms, soft lighting and comfortable chairs, creating a cozy space where parents can feed children and relax. The family-style restrooms are located near the Play Area on the lower level.

Taken together, the upgrades have made Brea Mall a more contemporary and inviting shopping environment.

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REAL ESTATE

Napa Center is transforming downtown Napa, Calif.

BY Michael Fickes

Fort Worth, Texas and Napa, Calif. — A joint venture of Trademark Property Co. and Zapolski Real Estate LLC, the $30 million Napa Center transformation started in September 2013 with upgrades to common areas. Changes include new energy-efficient roofing, paint and façade upgrades, new architectural elements, expanded and updated walkways, new seating areas, landscaping, ambient lighting and signage.

The 153,000-sq.-ft. Napa Center will also showcase specialty features and public art by local craftspeople and artists, curated to highlight Napa Valley’s rich cultural heritage.

As Phase I approaches completion this summer, pre-leasing is ramping up. The new Napa Center will offer fashion, specialty shops, restaurants and the Archer Napa, a 186-room four-star boutique hotel to be developed and operated by LodgeWorks Partners, scheduled to open in late 2015.

Once completed, Napa Center will offer more than 40 retailers and restaurants in the heart of downtown Napa.

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