REAL ESTATE

Report: Wegmans to enter Massachusetts

BY CSA STAFF

New York City Wegmans Food Markets plans to open its first Massachusetts store, according to The Boston Globe. The grocer is slated to open a 135,000-sq.-ft. store that will anchor a $100 million shopping and residential complex called Northborough Crossing.

“Over the next five to seven years, we might have half a dozen locations in Massachusetts,” said Ralph Uttaro, VP real estate development for Wegmans, in the report. “We’re looking for high-density areas with high levels of income and education.”

The Northborough store is scheduled to open in fall 2011.

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FINANCE

Consumer Sentiment Index declined in October

BY CSA STAFF

Ann Arbor, Mich. — The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment, released Friday, showed that confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly declined in October, with Americans more pessimistic about current economic conditions.

The index decreased to 67.9, the lowest since July, from 68.2 in September.

Unemployment projected to remain above 9% through next year may keep weighing on sentiment and make Americans reluctant to ramp up their spending, which accounts for 70% of the economy.

The Thomson Reuters sentiment index averaged 89 in the five years leading up to the recession that began in December 2007 and has yet to reach that level since the recovery began in June 2009.

Separate figures from the Labor Department on Friday showed consumer prices rose 0.1% in September, less than forecast. The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales climbed more than forecast in September; spending rose 0.6% following a 0.7% gain in August that was larger than previously estimated.

Consumer expectations for six months from now, which more closely projects the direction of consumer spending, rose to 64.6 from 60.9, which was the lowest since March 2009, according to the Friday sentiment index.

The survey’s measure of current conditions, which reflects Americans’ perceptions of their financial situation and whether it is a good time to buy big-ticket items such as cars, dropped to 73, the lowest since November, from 79.6 in the previous month.

Other index results showed that consumers expect an inflation rate of 2.6% over the next 12 months, compared with 2.2% projected in September.

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STORE SPACES

McDonald’s targets LEED Gold for California site

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — A renovated McDonald’s in Riverside, Calif., became the first McDonald’s west of the Mississippi, and the fourth in the United Sates, to seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification.

The building, which has stood as a McDonald’s restaurant for 44 years, reopened after a renovation that made the building more sustainable and energy-efficient. The new green features include:

  • Light colored hardscape to reduce heat emissions from site;
  • Native drought tolerant plants to reduce water consumption by landscape;
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage;
  • Installation of 294 photovoltaic panels to generate a percentage of the restaurant’s power consumption; and
  • Recycled denim insulation inside the building.

The restaurant features an interactive touch-screen display for visitors to learn about the building, environmental sustainability, and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.

Other LEED-certified McDonald’s restaurants are located in Cary, N.C., Savannah, Ga., and Chicago. The Riverside restaurant expects to receive LEED certification within one year.

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