REAL ESTATE

Nordstrom Rack to open third Houston-area store

BY Staff Writer

Seattle — Nordstrom plans to open a third Houston-area Nordstrom Rack location. The approximately 38,000-sq.-ft. store is scheduled to open in fall 2014, at Willowbrook Mall is owned and managed by General Growth Properties

"We’ve been looking for opportunities to better serve Houston customers as we continue to grow," said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack.

The single-level Nordstrom Rack will be new construction, with an exterior entrance on the northwest side of the mall and an interior entrance from the northwest wing, which will be renovated by GGP.

"Our goal is to provide our shoppers with the best in retail. This is the only Nordstrom Rack on the north/northwest side of the greater Houston area," said Richard Pesin, executive VP of anchors, construction and development for GGP.

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REAL ESTATE

Saks to open Off 5th in Atlanta

BY Staff Writer

New York — Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th announced that it plans to open a new store in Atlanta, Georgia on July 18.

The 28,000-sq.-ft. store will be located in the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta at Woodstock.

The store will be the third Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th in metropolitan Atlanta, but will be the first store to be modeled after the company’s “luxury-in-a-loft” store design, which highlights the merchandise and facilitates easy shopping.

The modern and uncluttered layout includes an open floor plan, moveable fixtures and bright lighting.

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REAL ESTATE

Retail real estate recovery still on, says CBRE

BY Michael Fickes

Los Angeles — For the second consecutive quarter, the retail availability rate has fallen 30 basis points, according to the latest analysis from CBRE Group. The rate now stands at 12.2% and testifies to improved retailer confidence as consumer spending continues to rebound.

The availability rate tracks space that is actively being marketed and available for tenant build-out within 12 months.

All but three markets are seeing availability rates improve or stabilize compared with the second quarter of last year. Top performing markets, according to the report, include Louisville, Kansas City, Columbus, Charlotte and Memphis. Each of these markets recorded a decline of 70 basis points or more.

At the other end of the spectrum, markets such as Denver, Raleigh and Edison, N.J., recorded increases in availability rates of 30 or more basis points during second quarter 2013.

That aside, sales growth at retail centers across the U.S. has gained momentum in recent months, says the report. While growth remains slightly below long-term trends, consumers seem to be maintaining spending across most categories of goods.

The report also notes projections that the housing recovery will likely improve in coming months and benefit retailers that sell housing-related goods.

In addition, discretionary and necessity retailers have reached and surpassed pre-recession sales highs.

CBRE says that a slow but steady recovery has taken hold in all commercial real estate property sectors.

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