Regional malls alive and kicking
That’s not a bad headline leading into RECon 2012 next week in Las Vegas. Not that I can take credit for the verbiage; “Regional malls alive and kicking” is a report issued by SNL Real Estate, Charlottesville, Va.
According to SNL’s information, despite stalled growth in household income, regional malls have held their own, boosted by ongoing consumer interest in luxury items. In fact, occupancy levels at domestic regional malls owned by U.S. REITs moved to 93.2% by the end of 2011, from 91% at the end of 2009. That’s recovery for you.
If you have time before packing up your most comfortable shoes and boarding your flight to Las Vegas at the end of the week to attend our industry’s big show – the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon 2012, May 20-23 – give a quick read to the SNL report. It’s an encouraging lead-in to what we all hope will be a fruitful three days.
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New Jersey-area malls go solar
Chicago-based General Growth Properties is taking steps toward reducing the carbon footprint of four New Jersey-area malls by outfitting them with state-of-the-art solar panels.
Bridgewater Commons (shown here), Paramus Park, Willowbrook Mall and Woodbridge Center will in total be equipped with 20,000 5.1 megawatt panels that will provide an estimated 12% of the properties’ energy needs.
“GGP has a strong commitment to sustainability. Contributing to the well-being of the communities we serve is important and we recognize and pursue opportunities to improve the efficiency of our properties,” said Chuck Lhotka, executive VP asset management at GGP.
In all, the panel coverage will total approximately 3 million sq. ft. of roof space. GGP partnered with Safari Energy to design, engineer and construct the solar systems and assist with local power and regulatory agencies.
The high-performance solar panels guarantee 80% efficiency in power production. In addition to the rooftop panels, the project includes inverters to convert electricity generated by the modules from direct to alternating current, as well as utility-grade meters with remote monitoring capabilities.
Gap Inc.’s Piperlime to make retail store debut in NYC
SAN FRANCISCO — Gap Inc.’s online shop, Piperlime, will make its retail store debut this fall, at 121 Wooster St. in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.
The new 4,000 sq. ft. Piperlime store will offer a similar curated assortment as online, the company said. Styled as a boutique, the store will feature the best range of coveted, iconic brands like Milly, Frye and Citizens of Humanity as well as little known finds including Tinley Road, Ash and Maison Scotch.
“Our customers have been asking for a place where they can experience Piperlime in person, and New York is the perfect location for this,” said Jennifer Gosselin, SVP and general manager of Piperlime. “Since introducing Piperlime in 2006, we’ve built a loyal following of fashion-involved women looking for a mix of the best styles from the brands they love and the new ones they discover. Our SoHo location will offer an edited assortment, giving customers the right amount of everything in a refreshing setting,” she said.
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