News

Mid-Year Update: Top 10 Most Popular Stories

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — What topics interested retailers most in the first half of 2011? The most popular stories with chainstoreage.com readers from January through June ran the gamut, from the top 10 retail markets for 2011 to Dollar General’s ambitious expansion. Take a look at our top 10 most popular stories:

1. Top 10 retail markets for 2011

2. Wal-Mart plans to add hundreds of smaller stores in next three years

3. Report ranks 50 most valuable U.S. retail brands

4. Kohl’s focusing on smaller stores, looking at all options for new headquarters

5. Top 10 Trends for Retailers in 2011

6. Target to open in landmark Chicago building, to call small-format locations CityTarget

7. Best Buy to open hundreds of Best Buy Mobile stores, shrink footprint of big-box outlets

8. Gap to close 200 U.S. stores, will expand outlets

9. Nordstrom to roll out mobile checkout devices company-wide

10. Dollar General to open 625 stores, add 6,000 jobs in 2011

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REAL ESTATE

Middlesex Commons undergoing redevelopment

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Burlington, Mass. — Columbia, S.C.-based Edens & Avant announced Wednesday details of its redevelopment of Middlesex Commons retail center in Burlington, Mass.

With a relocated and expanded Market Basket, Old Navy and a new Nordstrom Rack and DSW as key anchors, Middlesex Commons has been redesigned to better connect to the local community by offering a more dynamic retail mix and a more personalized shopping environment.

“Middlesex Commons has been an important part of Burlington since the 1970s but we recognized the opportunity to create a more community focused retail experience,” said Sam Judd, VP investments, for Edens & Avant. “In considering our redevelopment options, we wanted Middlesex Commons to look and feel like a natural extension of the surrounding neighborhoods while also creating an approachably elegant and inviting atmosphere where friends and neighbors can relax and reconnect with one another.”

The redevelopment began in 2010, and when complete, Middlesex Commons will have a fresh architectural aesthetic including new storefront facades and lighting, green screening and landscaping, a repaved parking lot, along with pedestrian-friendly walkways and public gathering places.

“Along with a new exterior aesthetic, we’ve also created a new merchandising mix that is now much more reflective of the changing demographics and evolving tastes of the surrounding community,” said Elizabeth Furnelli, VP leasing, for Edens & Avant.

Middlesex Commons will feature several new restaurants and retailers, including Market Basket, which relocated from a previous storefront and has expanded to 100,000 sq. ft.; Nordstrom Rack, which is opening a 38,000-sq.-ft. store on Sept. 8; DSW, which is slated to open a 15,000-sq.-ft. junior anchor store in early 2012; Burlington Wine, which is scheduled to open in September; and restaurants Burtons Grill, Chateau Restaurant and Five Guys.

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REAL ESTATE

Regency acquires Calhoun Commons for $21 million

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Jacksonville, Fla. — Regency Centers said Tuesday it has closed on the acquisition of Calhoun Commons, a 66,150-sq.-ft. neighborhood shopping center located in Minneapolis and anchored by Whole Foods Market.

The property was purchased in an off-market transaction on July 1 for $21 million from Calhoun Commons Shopping Center Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of Doran Cos. and the original developer of the property.

Built in 1999, Calhoun Commons is a Class A shopping center anchored by a 49,471-sq.-ft. Whole Foods Market, along with national retailers such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Caribou Coffee, Ben & Jerry’s and Noodles & Co. According to Regency, the fully leased center produces strong retail sales and high historical occupancy with more than 94% of the gross leasable area occupied by first-generation tenants.

With the acquisition of Calhoun Commons, Regency owns four retail centers in the Minneapolis market and has a fifth under contract. Regency’s Minneapolis portfolio totals more than 550,000 sq. ft.

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