REAL ESTATE

Esplanade mixed-use property to undergo major renovation

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Phoenix – The Esplanade mixed-use development on E. Camelback Road in Phoenix will under significant renovations beginning in first quarter of 2015, according to third-party manager CBRE.

Renovation plans currently include strategies to open up the three main entry points to the retail portions of the property to make them more inviting and accessible to visitors. Additionally, the walkways will be redesigned so retailers can provide their customers with indoor/outdoor spaces in which to shop and dine. The central corridor will be reimagined to create a community square offering a space for the Esplanade community to come together. The space will offer outdoor seating as well an area for community events.

“The Esplanade is one of the area’s most prestigious and sought-after office locations; it’s the heart of the Camelback Corridor,” said Andi St. John, managing director of Asset Services with CBRE. “The planned renovations will capitalize on the existing cache commanded by the property and create a first-class retail experience better connecting the complex to the Biltmore community.”

MetLife, the owner of the property, has tapped CBRE to oversee management of the renovations. Gensler has been selected as the project’s architect and design firm. A general contractor has yet to be announced. CBRE is also responsible for property management and the marketing and leasing of the retail portions of the property. JLL handles the marketing and leasing of the office space. The property is comprised of about 906,000 sq. ft. of total office space and nearly 76,000 sq. ft. of retail space.

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REAL ESTATE

Top five priciest retail rents in the world go to…

BY Marianne Wilson

New York –Manhattan’s high-profile Fifth Avenue, at a whopping $3,550 per sq. ft., and Hong Kong’s Queen’s Road Central, at $2,073 per sq. ft., stand out as the most expensive retail rents in the world, according to Colliers International. Rounding out the top five are Hong Kong’s Canton Road, Manhattan’s Madison Avenue and Paris’ Champs Elysees. (See end of story for a more complete list.)

“Our analysis of the global retail real estate environment reveals what we have been seeing this year—a retail market that is cautiously optimistic and steadily growing in many sectors despite some hiccups of caution due to threats to global economic growth and the shadow of e-commerce,” said Anjee Solanki, national director, retail services | USA, Colliers International. “Luxury, in particular, serves as a major spark to the expansion we are seeing, and this is even in regions such as Europe and Asia with weak GDP growth and consumer spending.”

Key findings include:

  • Luxury retailers are in the sweet spot. Luxury retailers are benefitting from income gains among the top earners and are thriving throughout many of the top global markets, including Paris, London, New York and prime cities in Asia. The growth in this sector is a key factor in driving expansion across the board.
  • New supply is robust in developing markets. The global expansion of the workforce and the middle class is spurring a need for new supply, which is concentrated in developing countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia that have economic growth, political stability, a growing middle class and business-friendly regulatory environments.
  • Optimism is tempered by threats to global economic growth and the specter of e-commerce. E-commerce is affecting both traditional and luxury retailers across the globe, exerting pressure on merchants to become more creative with concepts regarding their use of space. One popular strategy is to transform stores into product showrooms in an attempt to entice greater foot traffic and additional online sales.

Here are the top 10 global retail rents (per square foot):

$3,550 New York, Fifth Avenue

$2,073 Hong Kong, Queen's Road Central, Central

$2,011 Hong Kong, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

$1,643 New York, Madison Avenue

$1,543 Paris, Champs Elysees

$1,340 London, Old Bond Street

$1,103 Hong Kong, Causeway Bay

$998 Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse

$890 Milan, Via Monte Napoleone

$786 Moscow, Stoleshnikov Lane

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Fred’s turns red in Q3, will close 47 stores

BY CSA STAFF

Memphis, Tenn. – Fred’s Inc. swung to a net loss of $10.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to net income of $7.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Costs associated with closing five underperforming stores in the third quarter, and an anticipated 47 stores in the fourth quarter, contributed to the loss, which exceeded Wall Street projections. However Fred’s beat the Street with third quarter sales of$476.2 million, up 3% from $460.5 million. Same-store sales rose 0.3%.

"As we forecasted, the third quarter was difficult as we aggressively cleared inventory, cut receipts of overstocked high-margin product, brought prices in line with competitors, and revamped the ad programs to drive traffic,” said Jerry A. Shore, CEO. “Overall, inventory was down 9% at the end of the quarter, with general merchandise inventory down 11% on a per-store basis. These reductions highlight the success of the programs implemented during the year.”

Fred’s also promoted Craig Barnes to general merchandising officer. Barnes previously held executive roles with Auto Zone, Carquest and Delphi Products. The company expects to have a new president and COO in place before the start of fiscal 2015

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