REAL ESTATE

Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse join Cross County Shopping Center

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Yonkers, N.Y. — Tom Rettaliata of Ripco Real Estate leased 13,840 sq. ft. to Darden Concepts in the Cross County Shopping Center located at 8000 Mall Walk in Yonkers, New York.

The area previously used for parking is now occupied by two freestanding restaurants: Olive Garden (7,448 sq. ft.) and Longhorn Steakhouse (6,392 sq. ft.). Olive Garden opened on October 27, 2014, and Longhorn Steakhouse opened on November 17, 2014.

The landlord, Brooks Shopping Center LLC, was represented by Guy Mercurio of Macerich.

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REAL ESTATE

CBL & Associates Properties names former Target exec to board

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chattanooga, Tenn. — CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. announced the appointment of John Griffith to its board of directors. Griffith fills the unexpired term of Tom DeRosa, resulting from his retirement from CBL's board effective Jan. 7.

Griffith served as executive VP of property development for Target Corporation until his retirement in May 2014. He joined Target in 1999, and played an instrumental role in its expansion and the development of new store prototypes and formats.

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News

Five Below names EVP of merchandising

BY CSA STAFF

Michael Romanko was named Executive Vice President of Merchandising at discount retailer Five Below, reporting to President Joel Anderson.

Romanko will oversee all aspects of merchandising strategy and operations including product development. He joins Five Below from Patriarch Partners where he served as Chief Design Officer and was responsible for merchandise line building, sourcing and design for 75 businesses, according to a Five Below statement. Romanko is a 30 year retail veteran who held executive positions with national retailers including Macys, Toys "R" Us, Linens 'n Things and Fortunoff.

"We have been working to fill this role for a while now and I am thrilled to have Michael, with whom I have worked previously, join the team," Anderson said. "His broad range of experience and passion for merchandising will complement our seasoned buying and product development teams already in place. Furthermore, Michael's expertise and experience perfectly aligns with the Five Below mission, business and culture."

Romanko assumes his new role Jan. 19.

"We are excited to welcome Michael to the Five Below team," said Tom Vellios, Co-Founder and CEO of Five Below. "As a merchandising driven organization, we have worked hard to build the incredibly talented team we have in place today. As we continue to grow and expand the business, it was important for us to find someone with the right creative vision and expertise to lead our merchandising efforts. A retail industry veteran, Michael is a proven merchant with extensive experience in all aspects of merchandising, product development, branding and sourcing.”

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