REAL ESTATE

Cole Real Estate executes 278,000 sq. ft. in retail leases

BY Staff Writer

Phoenix — Cole Real Estate Investments announced Monday that it has signed leases totaling approximately 278,000 sq. ft. at Cole-related retail properties through the first half of 2011.

The leases consist of approximately 129,000 sq. ft. of new leases and approximately 149,000 sq. ft. in renewals, bringing the occupancy rate for Cole’s portfolio of more than 1,450 properties to 97.3%.

Notable new leases include Bally Total Fitness for 39,500 sq. ft. at a former Circuit City in Aurora, Colo.; Ross Dress for Less for 28,000 sq. ft. at Lincoln Place in Fairview Heights, Ill.; Bassett Furniture for 7,500 sq. ft. at Manchester Highlands in Manchester, Mo.; and Men’s Wearhouse for 6,000 sq. ft. at Winter Garden Village in Winter Garden, Fla.

Key renewal leases include Bed Bath & Beyond for 36,500 sq. ft. and Beauty Brands for 8,300 sq. ft. at Barrywoods Crossing in Kansas City, Mo., as well as Marshalls for 30,000 sq. ft. at Lincoln Place in Fairview Heights, Ill.

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REAL ESTATE

Whole Foods Market signs lease in Virginia Beach

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Whole Foods Market plans to open a store in Virginia Beach, Va.

The retailer recently signed a lease with S.J. Collins Enterprises for the construction of a 40,000-sq.-ft. store in the Hilltop section of Virginia Beach. It is scheduled to open by yearend 2013.

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REAL ESTATE

Gap opening first Gap flagship in Rome

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Rome — Gap said Friday that it will debut its first Gap flagship store in Rome on Via del Corso, the city’s premier shopping district, on July 30.

The opening in Rome is part of Gap’s ongoing international growth strategy; it opened its first Gap and Banana Republic stores in Milan in November 2010.

Four additional Gap and Banana Republic stores are slated to open in Italy this year. The company also recently introduced its outlet concept to the country and said it expects to open additional stores in Italian outlet centers.

The new flagship store is a two-story, 14,111-sq.-ft. space that was originally a bank and most recently a book store. To celebrate this heritage, the store will house a book corner and sell a variety of art and style books. Several of the structure’s original elements have been conserved including a 1940’s mural by Giulio Russo showcasing men on a scaffold wearing white T-shirts and denim. Gap has also reinterpreted and localized Gap’s American store design through the use of premium materials such as marble and warm toned woods. At the heart of each store is a floating white staircase composed of stone and white glass and a sky light positioned directly above.

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