REAL ESTATE

Grocer Winn-Dixie aggressively remodels and expands

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Tampa, Fla. — Regional grocer Winn-Dixie said it is working hard to change a tarnished image.

The chain, fresh out of bankruptcy, is in the throes of rolling out its previously announced remodeling, expansion and new development plan that involves an investment of about $100 million.

In Sarasota, Fla., a remodeled store will feature such upgraded features as a café with free Wi-Fi, an imported wine and craft beer section, a sushi bar, pizza bar and several stations where chefs prepare hot dinners for shoppers on the go.

The renovated stores are called “Transformational models” by Winn-Dixie and, said the grocer, are designed to rival Whole Foods or Fresh Market in terms of image.

Winn-Dixie filed for bankruptcy in February 2005, and then emerged with a rebuilding plan that involved, initially, a freshening of 230 stores and then the more full-scale remodels that launched as a pilot in pre-selected markets. Seventeen stores will change over to the transformational model this fiscal year, according to Winn-Dixie. And the company has targeted at least 60% of company stores for the transformational overhaul.

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REAL ESTATE

Designer Jean-Michel Cazabat opens first U.S. retail store

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Footwear designer Jean-Michel Cazabat said he will open his first U.S. store on Oct. 8 in New York City’s West Village.

The 1,800-sq.-ft. Jean-Michel Cazabat retail space is inspired by Cazabat’s own modern, eclectic Soho loft apartment. It incorporates the vibrant signature colors of Cazabat’s shoe line — Napoleon Blue on the entrance wall and a "rouge taureau" ottoman — both colors seen throughout Cazabat’s own home. The limestone fireplace and walnut washed cabinets that also serve as displays for the many fall styles, resemble a chest of drawers.

The New York store location will be the first freestanding retail store worldwide. A Jean-Michel Cazabat shop-in-shop opened in China’s Hangzhou Tower Shopping City in August.

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REAL ESTATE

DDR and Walmart team to open, expand four stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Beachwood, Ohio — DDR Corp. announced Friday plans to redevelop four shopping centers by adding two new Walmart stores in Florida and expanding two existing stores in Ohio and Puerto Rico.

"These projects will deliver desired growth opportunities to the world’s most successful retailer and further strengthen DDR’s relationship with its largest tenant," said Paul Freddo, senior executive VP leasing & development for DDR.

At DDR’s The Shops at Midtown Miami, a 645,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use center in Miami, Walmart plans to build a 160,000-sq.-ft. store on a currently undeveloped five-acre parcel adjacent to the existing center which currently features Target, Marshalls, HomeGoods, PetSmart, Ross Dress For Less and The Sports Authority.

At Tarpon Square in Tarpon Springs, Fla., Walmart has purchased a former Kmart location and will open an 85,000-sq.-ft. store with a full line of grocery offerings.

Walmart also plans to expand its existing stores at Southland Crossings in Boardman, Ohio, and Plaza Palma Real in Humacao, Puerto Rico, to include a full line of grocery products.

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