Opus completes fourth Gander Mountain store
Minneapolis — The Opus Group has completed a 45,600-sq.-ft. retail building for Gander Mountain in Albany, Ga. The project’s completion marks the fourth collaboration between Opus and Gander Mountain in the last 22 months. The new store opened on Nov. 12.
The Albany store represents a new, smaller concept for Gander Mountain.
Opus also constructed Gander Mountain projects in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and Valdosta, Ga., and provided construction management services for the retailer’s new store in Opelika, Ala.
Opus Development Company, LLC provided development services, Opus Design Build, LLC was the design-builder for the project and Opus AE Group, LLC provided architecture and engineering services.
DSW signs inks 20,000-sq.-ft. deal in Tempe, Ariz.
Phoenix — DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse has taken 20,000 sq. ft. at Tempe Marketplace in Tempe, Ariz., according the CBRE, which represented DSW in the negotiations. Vestar represented Tempe Marketplace.
Developed by Vestar in 2007, Tempe Marketplace is an interactive shopping, dining and entertainment destination featuring 1.3 million sq. ft. of retail space. The tenant list now includes DSW plus Target, Cost Plus World Market, Old Navy, J.C. Penney, Gap and Best Buy. It is also the first Arizona location for Dave & Busters.
Bitcoin payment service chief touts e-currency to feds
The electronic currency known as bitcoin allows small- and medium-size companies to reach more customers by opening new markets that were previously unreachable, the co-founder of a company that allows businesses to use bitcoins said in testimony this week before two Senate subcommittees. And it appears that federal authorities are open to its development.
Tony Gallippi, the CEO of BitPay, testified before the Senate Subcommittee on National Security and International Trade and Finance and the Subcommittee on Economic Policy on "The Present and Future Impact of Virtual Currency."
Developed as a theory in a 2008 paper and introduced in early 2009, bitcoin has grown in popularity lately with investors, businesses and consumers. The currency works as a peer-to-peer system that allows direct payments between two parties who store their bitcoins in electronic wallets, protected by a system of cryptography, private keys and electronic signatures; like cash, they can be stolen, but unlike cash, they can’t be counterfeited. In addition, they’re virtually anonymous and have a finite supply.
But they have some unattractive qualities as well. Their anonymity makes them a popular means to buy contraband, such as illegal drugs, most infamously on the Deep website Silk Road, recently shut down by federal authorities, but soon after revived. They also are known to swing wildly in value: On Tuesday, the currency reached a value of $900 for one bitcoin before falling to $480.
"In order for bitcoin to flourish, it is imperative its susceptibility to illicit uses be addressed," one subcommittee member, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said during the hearing. Gallippi responded, "We share in the common goal, to protect the consumers from fraud, and that legitimate service providers separate the good actors from the bad."
So far, federal regulators seem to have a positive view of the currency. "There are plenty of opportunities for digital currencies to operate within existing laws and regulations," the New York Times quoted Secret Service special agent Edward Lowery as saying; the Secret Service is in charge of protecting the integrity of the dollar.
Gallippi sees bitcoin as ideal for small businesses. "Credit cards were never designed for the Internet, and credit card fees are discriminatory; the highest fees are paid by the smallest businesses," Gallippi said in his testimony. "If you are a business owner, it is your fault that you took a stolen credit card, even if the bank approved it. Bitcoin is a cheaper, faster and more secure payment system, with no discrimination against smaller businesses."