REAL ESTATE

Simon acquires 100% ownership of two upscale outlet centers

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Indianapolis — Simon Property Group said Wednesday it has acquired Paragon Outlets Grand Prairie in Grand Prairie, Texas, and Paragon Outlets Livermore Valley in Livermore, Calif.

Simon now owns 100% of each asset.

The 417,000-sq.-ft. Grand Prairie center is tenanted by Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, Coach, Cole Haan, DKNY, Hugo Boss, Kate Spade New York, J.Crew, Michael Kors, Nike and Tommy Hilfiger. The center opened in August 2012 and is 100% leased.

The 512,000-sq.-ft. Livermore center features Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Bloomingdale’s The Outlet Store, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Armani, Barneys New York, Coach, DKNY, Elie Tahari, Kate Spade New York, J.Crew, Lacoste, Michael Kors, Prada and Tommy Hilfiger. The center opened in November 2012 and is 100% leased.

The centers will be renamed Grand Prairie Premium Outlets and Livermore Valley Premium Outlets.

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REAL ESTATE

Tesco set to sell or close all Fresh & Easy stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

London — Tesco CEO Philip Clarke announced Wednesday that the British supermarket retailer will likely sell or close its entire U.S. presence, which means that 199 Fresh & Easy stores could be shuttered or sold off.

According to multiple reports, Tesco is close to making the decision after five unprofitable years in the U.S. The retailer launched the concept in 2007, confident there was a niche for a grocery store with fresh food offerings formatted in a unique footprint that was smaller than a typical supermarket but larger than a c-store.

"It’s likely, but not certain, that our presence in America will come to an end," Philip Clarke, CEO, said. "This is a very major change for the business." Clarke said the U.S. exit would allow the company to refocus on its global portfolio.

Fresh & Easy CEO Tim Mason has resigned the company after 30 years; Mason is the son-in-law of former Tesco CEO Ian MacLaurin.

Tesco – the world’s No. 3 retailer – said it has appointed investment bank Greenhill & Co. to conduct a strategic review of the Fresh & Easy chain that could lead to the sale or closure of the near-200 stores.

Tesco, which trails France’s Carrefour and U.S. leader Wal-Mart by annual sales, said it had had a number of approaches from parties interested in acquiring either all or part of Fresh & Easy, or in partnering with the firm.

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REAL ESTATE

Applebee’s to open NYC’s first LEED Gold restaurant

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Applebee’s will open New York City’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Gold certified restaurant on Monday, Dec. 10.

The restaurant, located at 117th Street in the Harlem section of Manhattan, is the 35th Applebee’s location of franchisee Apple-Metro.

The location is equipped with over 40 eco-friendly upgrades including rooftop rainwater harvesting, waterless urinals and a “living wall” made up of plants. The plants are watered automatically through an automated control panel, which controls fertilizing as well. The use of bamboo figures prominently throughout the interior, used for the bar, countertops and chandeliers.

At the front of the restaurant there will be a Green Education Touch Screen, which will alert customers about the store’s green features and the benefits of green buildings.

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