REAL ESTATE

Saks to close downtown Pittsburgh store

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Saks Fifth Avenue will close its store in downtown Pittsburgh in 2012, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported. The news follows negotiations between the retailer, the store’s landlord and city officials over funding for renovations to the building.

“In order to remain in downtown Pittsburgh, we communicated to the landlord and city representatives that it was imperative that we secure funding toward a much-needed comprehensive model and upgrade of the store in order to meet competitive pressure and the expectations of our customers and vendors," said spokeswoman Julia Bentley said, in a report by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Saks received an offer to renew the store’s lease which expires on Sept. 21, 2012, and it included a funding proposal, the report said. However, the company decided it would not be practical to accept the offer.

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WORKFORCE

RILA applauds introduction of Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act

BY Staff Writer

Arlington, Va. — The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) applauded House Education and the Workforce Chairman Jon Kline for the introduction of the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act and urged for its speedy passage.

The legislation comes in response to efforts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to impose several components of the job-killing Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a priority of organized labor that failed to gain support in Congress.

"RILA applauds Chairman Kline for his commitment to protecting the rights of employees and employers. This commonsense legislation is necessary because of ill-conceived actions taken by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), actions that jeopardize exiting jobs and future job creation," said Bill Hughes, senior vice president of government affairs.

The legislation will guarantee basic protections for workers and employers including the right to a fair election process and the opportunity to make a fully informed decision in a union election, according to RILA. It will also protect existing rules that determine what constitutes a bargaining unit and it will safeguard workers’ privacy by allowing workers to decide what personal information is provided to a union during an election, RILA said.

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REAL ESTATE

Jones Lang LaSalle makes southeast leasing hires

BY Staff Writer

Atlanta — Jones Lang LaSalle announced Wednesday two new hires in the Southeast Region.

Andrea Kenney and John Lambert have joined the firm to provide strategic planning and evaluation of the positioning, merchandising and development of shopping centers as owners continue to look for ways to enhance their real estate operations and maximize tenancy.

With 20 years of real estate experience in leasing, development, management, finance and operations, Lambert joins the firm as VP and regional leasing director for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail’s Atlanta and Florida markets. He will be based out of the firm’s Atlanta office and report directly to Steve Yenser, executive VP and director of open-air retail.

Kenney, with more than 25 years of experience in the shopping center industry, will serve as VP leasing specialist for the Atlanta market, and will be based out of the Atlanta office reporting to Lambert.

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