REAL ESTATE

Philippines: Bringing green space inside the mall

BY Al Urbanski

Lifescapes International, an architectural landscape company that’s responsible for outdoor displays such as the Rockefeller Center Promenade and the Bellagio water show, is testing the boundaries of indoor greenery in the Philippines.

Its work for Robinson’s Galleria, a new mall about to open within a 4 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use development in Cebu, includes leaf-ensconced support columns, a bubble wall, and a 25-ft.-high flower guitar. The idea, according to Lifescapes President, was to conjure up the feeling of an outdoor oasis within an enclosed center.

“Our strategy was to deliver an environment that visitors can get lost in and enjoy with friends and family time and time again,” said Brinkerhoff-Jacobs, noting that the big challenge was dealing with the high temperatures and humidity at the location, which also features lush gardens on every level of the center and in the parking lot.

With an eye toward keeping common area maintenance costs low for tenants, Lifescapes integrated artificial plants with the living ones. “Anything that can be touched by a shopper is real,” Brinkerhoff-Jacobs noted. “All the out-of-reach plants are made of artificial materials.”


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REAL ESTATE

American Apparel gets nod to shutter nine stores

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

American Apparel’s financial saga is winding down.

A week after getting court approval to use the remainder of its $30 million bankruptcy loan, the specialty retailer is entering the next phase of its journey — the closure of nine under-performing stores. These units, located in New York, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Santa Cruz, Calif., Evanston, Ill., and Burlington, Vt., will close by Dec. 31.

U.S. Bankruptcy court judge Brendan Shannon approved an agreement with American Apparel’s liquidators Merchant Resources LLC and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC, on Monday, Dec. 19, a move that gives the company permission to begin “going out of business” sales for the next two weeks.

Stores that remain unsold during an auction on Jan. 9, will be closed and sold by the liquidators by April 30, 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The specialty retailer estimates that the liquidation sales will generate about $600,000 in income for the company, and the location closures will save about $200,000 a month in rent, The Consumerist said.

American Apparel filed Chapter 11 in November, its second bankruptcy proceeding in 15 months.

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REAL ESTATE

Best Buy opens five appliance outlets

BY CSA STAFF

Hoping to bolster sales across its home appliance category, Best Buy opened five outlet locations dedicated to major appliances.

The outlet stores are located in San Antonio and Famers Branch, Texas, Raleigh, N.C., Newark, Del., and Moreno Valley, Calif. All five locations opened this month, according to The Dallas News.

The new outlets complement Best Buy’s major appliance business — a category that got a boost a couple years ago with the rollout of upscale Pacific Sales Kitchen & Home departments in 100 stores. These destinations feature kitchen and laundry appliances and bath fixtures, The Dallas News said.

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