REAL ESTATE

Phillips Edison buys Bethany Village in Alpharetta, Ga.

BY Michael Fickes

Cincinnati — Phillips Edison-ARC Grocery Center REIT II has acquired its first grocery-anchored shopping center — the 81,674-sq.-ft. Bethany Village in Alpharetta, Ga., an affluent suburb of Atlanta.

A 51,674-sq.-ft. Publix anchors the center. Publix is the number one grocer by market share in the Atlanta metropolitan statistical area. Other national tenants at Bethany Village include Marco’s Pizza, Subway and Workout Anytime.

Phillips Edison-ARC Grocery Center REIT II is a public non-traded REIT that seeks to acquire and manage well-occupied grocery-anchored neighborhood shopping centers having a mix of national and regional retailers selling necessity-based goods and services, in strong demographic markets throughout the United States. The company is co-sponsored by two industry leaders: Phillips Edison & Co., which has acquired over $3.25 billion in shopping centers throughout the United States, and AR Capital, a real estate investment program sponsor dedicated to governance best practices.

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FINANCE

PacSun increases net loss in Q4

BY Dan Berthiaume

Anaheim, Calif. – Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. reported a net loss of $22.5 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, up from a net loss of $19.8 million in the same period a year earlier. Net sales dropped 2% to $218.6 million $222.8 million, while same-store sales rose 2%.

Pacific Sunwear cited the 53rd week in fiscal 2012 as negatively affecting its comparative fiscal 2013 results. Looking ahead, the retailer expects a same-store sales increase of 1 to 4% and revenues of $169 million to $174 million during fiscal 2014.

During the full fiscal year 2013, Pacific Sunwear reported a net loss of $48.7 million, down from a net loss of about $52.1 million in the prior fiscal year. Net sales were $797.8 million, up 2% from $784.7 million. Same-store sales increased 2%.

"We continue to be encouraged by our positive momentum within a challenging retail environment throughout the year, marked by eight straight quarters of positive comparable store sales, sustained gross margins, and reduced operating costs, all contributing to a significant improvement in our operating performance compared to fiscal 2012," said Gary H. Schoenfeld, president and CEO. "Looking ahead to fiscal 2014, our key priorities include showcasing our premium brand portfolio through curated assortments, managing inventory with on-trend fashion and speed to market, and continuing to elevate both our in-store and digital experience. Through our Golden State of Mind brand identity, we continually strive to deliver the creativity, diversity and optimism that is quintessentially California and unique to PacSun across all facets of our business."

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REAL ESTATE

Mall of America kicks off $325 million expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Bloomington, Minn. — Mall of America has launched a $325 million expansion project in cooperation with Mortenson, a U.S.-based construction and development services company, Hotel Development LLC, an enterprise of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and the city of Bloomington, Minn.

The expansion will include a 342-room JW Marriott hotel, office tower, high-end retailers, new dining options, a tourist welcome center and large event space. An extension of the mall on all three levels on the north side, it is the most significant construction project at the property since opening in 1992.

The JW Marriott located at Mall of America is a ground-up, 14-story, 342-room hotel with direct access to the mall. The hotel will be owned by Hotel Development LLC and will be managed by Marriott International. It includes a full-service restaurant and bar, grand lobby with a lobby bar, fitness center, pool, and extensive meeting space that includes a grand ballroom. It also will offer an executive lounge and underground parking.

A 180,000 sq.-ft. Class-A office complex is also a part of the expansion plan. It will be home to a mix of national and international business tenants that will be located atop a new multi-level parking garage, providing direct access to the mall. The expansion is expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs and 2,500 permanent jobs from ongoing retail, hotel and office operations. Construction has begun and anticipated completion is scheduled for fall 2015.

"This is a major milestone for Mall of America," said Paul Ghermezian, chief operating officer for Triple Five Worldwide. "For more than 20 years, it has been our dream to increase the size of the Mall, firmly establishing it as a world renowned attraction. Today, I couldn’t be more pleased to say that dream is becoming a reality."

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