REAL ESTATE

Experiential retailer Make Meaning opens in Bethesda, Maryland

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Make Meaning is expanding its East Coast presence with the opening of its sixth U.S. location, at Bethesda Row in Bethesda, Maryland, on June 9. Make Meaning has five additional locations nationwide – two in New York City, as well as locations in Dedham, Massachusetts, Thousand Oaks, California, and Scottsdale, Arizona. The company plans to roll out additional locations nationwide and abroad.

The 5,000-plus-sq.-ft. emporium features a multitude of interactive activities including the opportunity to create and customize soaps and candles, paint ceramics and plaster, design glassware, decorate cookies & cakes and more. It also includes private party spaces, and constantly evolving “Creative Experiences” and classes.

Highlights of Make Meaning’s Bethesda Row store include:

• "The Skinny Dip," a flowing wax-cooling river of water where customers can watch their candles cook;

• The Cake and Cookie Decorating experience offers customers the chance to decorate their own cakes and cookies, using a wide assortment of edible accessories and colors including a motorized rotating booth for edible spray coloring;

• The Glitter Tattoo Parlor, where guests can get dazzling glitter tattoos applied; and

• Private party rooms for events of all sizes from birthday parties, bridal parties and baby showers to corporate events.

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REAL ESTATE

New Claudette restaurant leases Fifth Avenue site

BY Michael Fickes

New York — Restaurateurs Carlos Suarez and Mark Barak, known for their two popular eateries, Bobo and Rosemary’s, have taken space for a new Provencal restaurant to be called Claudette in New York City.

Located at 24 Fifth Avenue close to Washington Square Park, Union Square and New York University, the 2,409-sq.-ft. restaurant, which includes 2,044 sq. ft. in the basement, features menus from Chef Wade Moises and Chef de Cuisine Koren Grieveson that focus on local produce, seafood and North African aromatics.

Winick Realty Group represented Claudette in the transaction. Sinvin represented the landlord, 24 Fifth Owners Inc.

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REAL ESTATE

Planning begins for Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station

BY Michael Fickes

Philadelphia — Brandywine Realty Trust, Amtrak and Drexel University have selected Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff, OLIN, and HR&A Advisors to develop a comprehensive master plan for the area around Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station.

Planning will begin immediately. The goal is to develop a vision that locates the station at the epicenter of a dynamic, urban neighborhood that provides opportunities for community development, economic development and improved transportation connections.

A coordinating committee will guide the master planning process. Committee members include representatives from Amtrak, Drexel University, Brandywine Realty Trust, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, City of Philadelphia, New Jersey Transit, CSX Corporation, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, Schuylkill River Development Corporation and University City District.

With master planning efforts currently being advanced in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York, Chicago, and now Philadelphia, Amtrak aims to turn congested and tired rail stations and their surroundings into thriving urban neighborhoods that appeal to the millennial and baby boomer generations. As these populations continue to flock to cities to live, work and play, they are demanding walk-able communities with vibrant arts and cultural institutions and access to transportation hubs such as 30th Street Station.

Drexel University and its partners are funding the Joint Master Plan. Drexel is also developing its Innovation Neighborhood project on 12 acres of its campus adjacent to 30th Street Station to attract and launch high-tech businesses seeking a rich research and commercialization environment with unmatched transit access.

The study area also includes parcels already being developed by Brandywine Realty Trust, including the FMC Tower at Cira Centre South.

Development of the master plan is expected to take approximately two years. Opportunities for public comment and involvement will be announced and advertised.

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