REAL ESTATE

Regency Centers’ Jefferson Square receives LEED Gold

BY CSA STAFF

La Quinta, Calif. Regency Centers announced that its Jefferson Square shopping center in La Quinta, Calif., received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Core and Shell Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The center, the first LEED-certified project in the city of La Quinta, is anchored by Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, slated to open in fall 2010, and a CVS/pharmacy, which is open for business.

According to Mark Peternell, Regency Centers’ VP sustainability, Jefferson Square’s LEED Gold certification represents a significant milestone for the company.

“We thank the project team, led by KTGY Group, for their commitment to our vision,” he said.

In addition to providing numerous benefits for the environment, Jefferson Square will also offer economic advantages for its tenants, Peternell said.

“This project is not only conserving energy and water and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions, but it will also lower operating costs and provide a healthier environment for our retailers and their patrons,” he explained. According to Peternell, Jefferson Square is expected to reduce its energy use by 35% compared with conventional buildings.

Through a partnership with public utility and third-party engineers, energy models for the center were used to determine the optimal combination of energy-efficiency measures, those that produce the greatest energy savings at the lowest possible cost. Peternell said the energy-efficiency measures will payback in less than one year, after taking into account a rebate provided by the local utility.

“The rebate dollars that we received were the icing on cake, as this is in addition to the on-going energy savings we will see year after year,” he added.

Regency implemented a variety of energy-efficient design strategies to achieve the savings. Because Jefferson Square is located in a desert environment, special care was given to building orientation and the use of shading devices to minimize solar heat gain. In addition to these passive solar strategies, the buildings use high-reflectivity roofing materials to reduce internal heat gain along with high-efficiency HVAC units and insulated low-emissivity glass.

Other steps that Regency Centers took to achieve LEED Core and Shell Gold Certification included preferred parking spaces reserved for hybrid or other low-emitting vehicles and an innovative storm water management system that captures 100% of the post-development run-off and percolates it into the ground.

Additionally, Regency recycled 32 tons, or 89%, of waste generated during construction. The shopping center also provides its tenants with guidelines to encourage the use of sustainability practices in the design, construction, and operation of their stores and restaurants.

Regency has six other shopping center projects currently seeking LEED certification, and will continue to integrate cost-effective sustainable design, construction, and operational practices into its core business initiatives.

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REAL ESTATE

Sbarro launches major expansion in Japan

BY CSA STAFF

Melville, N.Y. Quick-serve Italian restaurateur Sbarro said Tuesday it has outlined an aggressive expansion plan in Japan that includes the opening of 1,250 units.

Sbarro has partnered with JCI in a joint venture/franchise agreement that will see the expansion plan executed over a 20-year period. As part of the agreement, Sbarro and JCI announced the opening of the first restaurant at the Aeon Mall in Hinode-Machi, Tokyo.

The Aeon Mall location, which opened on Dec. 29, is the first of three Sbarro restaurant openings planned for Tokyo, with two units slated to launch during first quarter 2010.

“Working in tandem with the great team at JCI, we are poised to aggressively expand the Sbarro footprint throughout all of Japan,” said Peter Beaudrault, president and CEO of Sbarro.

Sbarro operates more than 1,000 restaurants across 42 countries.

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REAL ESTATE

Costco to open new Maryland store

BY CSA STAFF

Issaquah, Wash. Costco Wholesale Corp. said late Monday it is in talks with officials in Maryland to locate a new store in the Montgomery County city of Wheaton, in Washington.

According to a report by the Puget Sound Business Journal, the retailer is discussing a $60 million project that would put the retailer in part of space formerly occupied by a Hecht’s department store.

The county has been asked to contribute a portion of the project’s construction costs, though Steven Silverman, director of the county’s Department of Economic Development, wouldn’t confirm the amount.

The Washington Examiner reported the figure to be $4 million.

As the deal currently stands, Costco would share part of the multi-story space with another retailer, the identity of which Silverman would not disclose.

Silverman said the county’s contribution would not be an incentives package, but rather a contribution to construction costs. Previously, Montgomery County contributed $6 million to build a parking garage for the Macy’s in the same shopping mall.

Costco is expected to make a decision on the project in the next 30 days, Silverman said. Costco spokeswoman Therese Wontorek told the Business Journal that company policy is not to comment on specific markets.

If Costco goes forward with the Wheaton project, construction could begin by the end of 2010, with an opening sometime in 2011, Silverman said.

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