REAL ESTATE

Chipotle considers opening a burger chain

BY Marianne Wilson

Chipotle Mexican Grill is thinking about getting into the burger business.

The fast-casual giant, which is still struggling to recover financially from food-safety problems that surfaced last summer, filed a trademark application for "Better Burger" as part of a business diversification move to open a burger restaurant chain.

“It’s a growth seed idea we are exploring,” spokesman Chris Arnold told Bloomberg. “We have two non-Chipotle growth seeds open now — ShopHouse (Southeast Asian Kitchen) and Pizzeria Locale — and have noted before that the Chipotle model could be applied to a wide variety of foods.”

Chipotle debuted ShopHouse in Washington in 2011, and has since expanded the Asian eatery to the Los Angeles and Chicago markets. In 2013, the company invested in Pizzeria Locale, a highly praised pizzeria in Boulder, Colorado. It has been quietly expanding the concept.

If Chipotle goes ahead to develop a fast-casual burger chain it will be entering a segment that has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, with such formidable players as Shake Shack, Smashburger and Five Guys Burgers & Fries all in expansion mode.

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REAL ESTATE

Fast-growing Five Below keeps getting bigger

BY Marianne Wilson

Extreme-value tween and teen retailer Five Below enters a new market on April 1, with the opening of three stores in Louisiana.

“Entering Louisiana is an important step as we continue to expand our rapidly growing footprint across the country,” said Joel Anderson, CEO of Five Below, which operates 444 stores in 27 states.

The stores in Louisiana are located in the towns of Covington, Lafayette, and Slidell. They are included in the 85 new locations Five Below has planned for 2016. In 2015, the chain opened 71 stores.

Catering to pre-teens, teens and beyond, Five Below carries a broad array of merchandise, with no item priced over $5. Products are grouped into one of eight departments: Style, Room, Sports, Tech, Crafts, Party, Candy and Now.

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REAL ESTATE

City style retailing is on its way to Sunrise, Florida

BY Melonie Messina

Sunrise, Fla. — Metropica Holdings and KGH International Development announced that construction is on track for the retail vertical portion to begin this summer and is underway on the residential component for Metropica, located in Sunrise, Florida. Metropica is a transit-oriented mixed-use complex encompassing 65 acres and more than 4 million sq. ft. of retail, world-class residential, commercial, hotel, conference and public spaces.

The retail portion of Metropica is 400,000 sq. ft. of first-to-market retail space, dining and entertainment. Tenants already announced for the ground level retail spaces include: Ipic Theaters, Kings Bowl, True Food Kitchen, Kona Grill, Oil & Vinegar, Fogo de Chão, Shake Shack, Anthropologie, Free People and Kendra Scott. The project is expected to open fall 2017.

"This will be the downtown for this part of Broward County, the place where the young and the young-at-heart experience a truly urban lifestyle, whether they live here full-time or are visiting for the day," says Joseph Kavana, chairman for KGH International Development and president and CEO of Metropica Holdings. "You can't have a great downtown without spectacular dining and entertainment. We are working with some of the best restaurants, entertainment experiences and high-fashion boutiques today."

The project's contemporary aesthetics derive from the world's great cities, including New York, Barcelona, São Paulo and Paris. Master planner CI Design of Baltimore and Oppenheim Architecture & Design have combined their talents to create a dense, transit-oriented complex that will connect Metropica to neighboring office complexes and entertainment facilities, as well as all of South Florida.

Metropica also will boast walking and bike trails, courtyards and landscaping to encourage 24/7 activity. A centrally located parking garage will accommodate 3,600 cars. Amenities will include WiFi, state-of-the-art fiber optics, electric vehicle charging stations and kiosks in the central park.

"Whether they're millennials just starting out, empty nesters, or suburban families who live nearby, they want the best and newest in fashion and home furnishings," Kavana says. "Metropica will give them some of the great names in style from around the United States and around the world, in a spectacular setting."

At its completion, Metropica will offer over 1,900 high-rise residential units and unrivaled experiences including world-class shopping and dining, a five-star health and wellness center, a resort-style Beach Club, several public spaces dedicated to visual and performing arts, and additional elevated recreational amenities such as a tennis club, mini-soccer fields and its very own Central Park. Metropica will serve as the regional epicenter for South Florida's rapidly increasing population.

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