Friendly’s to debut, roll out smaller format
Mansfield, Mass. Friendly Ice Cream Corp. is opening a new, fast-casual, smaller-footprint restaurant on Wednesday that it hopes will be expandable along the Eastern Seaboard.
According to the Boston Globe, the first Friendly’s Express will open in Mansfield, Mass., featuring a limited menu a notch above fast food.
The 2,200-sq.-ft. restaurant is about one-third smaller than a typical Friendly’s and represents, according to the Globe, an effort by the struggling company to enter one of the few growth areas in the restaurant business: delivering fresh, made-to-order food in a convenient setting.
Sales have dropped 7.0% over the past five years as the 504-restaurant Friendly’s chain has shuttered underperforming stores and battled problems with poor management and declining service.
The smaller Friendly’s Express is expected to be a good growth vehicle for franchisees, costing about $600,000 to build, half as much as the average unit. The smaller footprint will fit into a wider variety of real estate options.
Friendly’s, which also runs corporate restaurants, will open one more Express location this year in Boston or Providence, R.I., and another five in 2010, said the Globe, with projections of opening up to 300 East Coast restaurants.
Georgia mixed-use project is slated for LEED neighborhood certification
Savannah, Ga. Developer Melaver said Thursday that is mixed-use redevelopment of a 27-acre parcel near Savannah, Ga., has earned the designation of the state’s first neighborhood to be certified as a green-building development.
Sustainable Fellwood will be presented with a LEED-ND (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design-Neighborhood Development) Silver certification upon the completion of the entire site.
With nine LEED-certified projects representing over 1.5 million sq. ft. of commercial and residential green-building experience, master developer Melaver proposed the tax-credit project in 2007, which now serves as the forerunner for all of Georgia’s mixed-income building projects.
The Sustainable Fellwood team worked with Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs to re-write the state’s 200-point scoring program, used by the DCA to evaluate and prioritize tax-credit proposals, to provide significant incentives to LEED projects.
The $50 million mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood redevelopment broke ground in Sept. 2008, and celebrated the completion of its Phase I development in May 2009.
Sustainable Fellwood is the site of Savannah’s first public-housing project, and is a principal component of the historic city’s Westside Development Revitalization Plan. The development, said Melaver, is a showcase for environmentally responsible, affordable housing, with engineered “in-community” livability and access to public transportation.
The community-created project with the Housing Authority of Savannah features multi-family buildings, single-family homes, a senior-housing facility, retail and commercial/office space.
NAI expands coverage in Russia
Princeton, N.J. NAI Global announced Thursday it is expanding its coverage in Russia with the signing of Becar Realty Group.
The firm will now operate as NAI Becar, with brokerage offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Based in St. Petersburg, NAI Becar offers property valuation, property and portfolio management, investment sales and tenant-representation services for office, retail and industrial properties. Becar Realty Group also provides facility management and cleaning services for its clients, and operates offices across more than 30 cities in Russia.
“Russia was one of the hottest global property markets before oil prices plummeted and the global recession hit last year. We expect the market to improve and recover in step with the global economy,” said Jeffrey M. Finn, NAI Global president and CEO. “We are working closely with the team at NAI Becar to provide the services and infrastructure necessary to support their growth and success.”