REAL ESTATE

Schimenti Construction building Panera Bread in mid-town Manhattan

BY Marianne Wilson

Ridgefield, Conn. —Schimenti Construction Company is building a $1.5 million Panera Bread cafe on Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan. The company began the project in September and will complete construction in January 2014.

Panera adds to Schimenti’s roster of fast-casual restaurant clients, which includes Starbucks and Chipotle. A project for another new client, Chik-Fil-A, is slated to begin in 2014.

The 16-week project presents some unique challenges, according to senior project manager Billy Collins. The building’s roof is low and set back, which makes some of the mechanical work more difficult.

“We will need to remove an existing masonry wall to allow access to the low roof, to be able to set mechanical equipment,” Collins said. “And, because the space incorporates the basement and first floor, we need to install vertical transportation, which can be time consuming.”

Collins added that Schimenti has devised ways to accommodate the issues while keeping to the timeline.

The 6,830-sq.-ft., two-story space is located at 330 Fifth Avenue, at the corner of 33rd Street in a space that formerly housed a Burger King restaurant. The project architect is Smart Design, Batavia, N.Y.

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News

More merchants go live on Master Card’s digital platform, MasterPass

BY Marianne Wilson

Purchase, N.Y. — Beyond the Rack, Currys, lastminute.com, Newegg and PC World have gone live on MasterPass, the digital platform from Master Card. More than 20,000 leading retailers in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia are now on the platform, according to Master Card.

“At Newegg, we view the checkout process as a core element of our customer’s overall shopping experience with us,” said Jacob Shin, VP of customer acquisition at Newegg. “We recognize that implementing advanced payment methods like MasterPass can improve our customer satisfaction and even potentially drive spend. By incorporating MasterPass, we’re able to deliver an easier and more seamless checkout experience for our customers in the U.S., and Canada.”

MasterPass eliminates the need for consumers to enter detailed shipping and card information to complete their online shopping at MasterPass merchant sites. Consumers can securely store MasterCard and other branded credit, debit and prepaid card information, address books and more. This simplifies the process of completing a transaction from any connected device, particularly those with smaller screens.

“We welcome Beyond the Rack, Currys, lastminute.com, Newegg, PC World and the ever-growing list of merchants that identify the MasterPass platform as a way to make the consumer shopping experience more convenient, simpler and faster,” said Vibhav Prasad, group head, MasterPass, at MasterCard. “MasterPass creates the cornerstone of all sorts of new shopping experiences across every channel, while delivering the security and benefits consumers enjoy today from a genuine MasterCard transaction.”

MasterPass will also be made available to both merchant and issuing partners in seven new markets – Brazil, Belgium, France, Italy, Singapore, Sweden and Spain – by year’s end.

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FINANCE

GE Capital is sole lender on $100 million credit facility for Samuels Jewelers

BY Staff Writer

Norwalk, Conn. – GE Capital, Corporate Retail Finance announced it is administrative agent and sole lender on a $100 million senior secured credit facility for Samuels Jewelers. The proceeds will be used to refinance existing debt and to support ongoing working capital needs. GE Capital Markets served as lead arranger.

“GE Capital knows our company well, and works closely with us to provide the financing we need to run our business,” said Robert Herman, CFO for Samuels Jewelers, Austin, Texas. “We particularly value their ability to finance our unique inventory and receivables.”

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