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Mercato’s new customer magnet

BY Michael Fickes

When the new Nordstrom Rack opened at Mercato in Naples, Fla., in early November, 500 people somehow got into the store within the first five minutes. No kidding.

Nordstrom Rack replaced Books-A-Million in a 30,000 sq. ft. space in the center, joining several other new tenants including The Wine Loft, The Counter, MASA, Kelly Chase Couture and Mark Loren Designs, Le Macaron, Salon Zen AVEDA, Second Cup and TAPS Bar & Lounge.

“We are thrilled to be adding yet another high-quality and hugely popular retailer to Mercato,” said Chuck Taylor, senior VO for Madison Marquette Retail Services, which operates the center. “The addition of Nordstrom Rack further cements Mercato as one of the premiere retail destinations in the Naples area.”

Nordstrom Rack carries merchandise from Nordstrom stores at 50%-60% off regular Nordstrom prices. Designer fashions include Kate Spade, Vince Camuto, Tahari, True Religion, Trina Turk, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and others.

The grand opening ceremonies began at 8 a.m. on Nov. 7, an hour before the official opening at 9 a.m. Shoppers that came early enjoyed music and breakfast treats supplied by the store. Customers also bought chances to win thirty $100 gift cards and one $1,000 shopping spree.

Nordstrom operates nine full-line and eight Rack stores in Florida, including a full-line location at Waterside Shops in Naples, just two miles south of Mercato.

Southwest Florida’s only Whole Foods Market and Silverspot Cinema, an 11-screen premier-style theater, anchor Mercato, which offers nearly 350,000 sq. ft. of main street-style retail, cinema and restaurants, 134,000 sq. ft. of Class-A office space and 92 luxury condos. The owner is the Mercato LLP Partnership, comprising managing partner Madison Marquette, the Lutgert Companies and the Barron Collier Companies.


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Hispanic Heritage Month at Macerich

BY Michael Fickes

Hispanic Heritage Month is a national observance that runs annually from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. President Ronald Reagan extended the observance from a week to a month in 1998.

The Macerich Company embraced Hispanic Heritage Month this year as a way of recognizing its large Hispanic customer base. Thirty-one Macerich properties hosted special events celebrating the richness of Latin culture throughout Hispanic Heritage Month.

The events ranged from free Zumba and Salsa dance classes and exhibitions to live Latin-inspired music performances, craft events for children and more.

Macerich corporate also partnered with Universal Music to conduct a month-long Latin Music Sweepstakes that brought in every property in the Macerich portfolio. People entered the sweepstakes at Guest Services desks at Macerich centers, at a dedicated sweepstakes website and by using a smartphone to scan a QR code on sweepstakes collateral.

The Grand Prize was a trip for two to Las Vegas for Latin music’s biggest night: The Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards. The grand prizewinner also received an invitation Universal Music Latin Entertainment’s after party.

Queens Center, a Macerich mall in Queens, N.Y., hosted the largest celebration, with events running throughout the month and in particular over the last weekend of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Queens Center capped off the month of celebrations with the launch of CultureArte, a star-studded, two-day weekend event — October 12-13 — that entertained thousands of shoppers with Latin music, dance, fashion and beauty.

Queens Center retailers provided coupons and special offers that filled complimentary CultureArte swag bags shared with more than 2,000 guests over the weekend.

CultureArte used three locations in Queens Center. A dedicated section of the second level featured a massive main stage with seating on three sides and plenty of standing room. Macerich equipped the main stage with a full complement of professional lighting and sound equipment.

A second stage, located on the first level in the food court, was visible from the mall’s first, second and third levels.

A third CultureArte destination on the second level offered CultureArte sponsors the opportunity to interact with shoppers.

The CultureArte weekend began on the main stage. J.C. Penney, Club Monaco, Steve Madden, Macy’s, Caparros Shoes and Natural Look Salon by Aveda put on a high-energy fashion show. After the show, the main stage morphed from a runway into a fully dedicated live concert venue.

Salsa Superstars Yesenia Adame and Rodrigo Guzman, from Dancing with the Stars, choreographed and performed salsa on the main stage. Aurora & Zon del Barrio with Chocolate, featuring Larry Harlow delivered an exclusive concert.

New York City is the second largest Hispanic market in the United States, and the shopper base surrounding Queens Center is nearly 36% Hispanic. Queens Center looks forward to the annual observance of Hispanic Heritage month as a way of thanking its Hispanic customers for their patronage.

Currently valued at $1.2 trillion annually, Hispanic purchasing power in the United States is growing faster than that of any other group.

“Macerich recognizes the tremendous importance of Latin culture in the U.S. today, and we are very pleased to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in a modern and meaningful way with CultureArte,” said Ken Volk, Chief Marketing Officer with Macerich. “This sophisticated, high-energy program was a big success in Queens, and we look forward to introducing CultureArte to shoppers in other key Macerich markets next year, including Los Angeles and Phoenix.”


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Sembler re-opens two redeveloped shopping centers

BY Michael Fickes

The Sembler Company completed two major redevelopments during 2013. The company redeveloped the Nokomis Village Shopping Center in Nokomis, Fla., and Park 66 in Pinellas Park, Fla.

Anchored by a redeveloped Publix, which re-opened in mid-November, and Anthony’s Ladies Apparel, improvements to the 143,697-sq.-ft. Nokomis Village include building façade upgrades and landscaping. Inline tenants include Saltwater Café, New China Restaurant, Hot Nails, Ophelia’s Pasta and Subway.

Sembler took over the third-party management of Nokomis Village about four years ago and negotiated the deal to demolish the existing Publix and redevelop the center with a new Publix on behalf of the owner.

Two years ago, Sembler purchased the center and undertook the redevelopment for its own portfolio.

“From the moment we took over the management of Nokomis, we could see the potential for its redevelopment,” said Steve Althoff, The Sembler Company’s senior VO of leasing and property management.

The center serves areas of southern Sarasota County, Nokomis and Venice Beach. About 4,000 people live within a one-mile circle around the center. The population within a five-mile circle is almost 50,000. Estimated average annual household income runs between $68,000 and $70,000.

When a new multifamily complex went up behind the 61,000-sq.-ft. Park 66 Plaza, Sembler re-evaluated the demographics and decided to redevelop that center as well.

Today, approximately 13,000 people live within a one-mile circle of the center, with 290,000 living within five miles. Average annual household income is about $52,000 within a five-mile radius. Nearly 90,000 vehicles pass the center every day.

The positive demographics led to a redevelopment that brought in a new 41,000-sq.-ft. Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, which is driving traffic to the center, and a 1,400-sq.-ft. Lynch’s Liquor. Increased traffic has helped improve sales at Dollar Tree and bump up the value of the asset overall.


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