REAL ESTATE

Simon expands Desert Hills Premium Outlets

BY Dan Berthiaume

Indianapolis — Simon Property Group Inc. has opened a 50-store expansion of Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, California. Desert Hills now has 180 stores.

The expansion features brands including: Alexander McQueen; Bally; Belstaff; CH Carolina Herrera; Fendi; Helmut Lang; John Varvatos; Maje; Max Mara; Rag and Bone; Sandro; Valentino and Wolford. The expansion also includes enhancements throughout the property including the addition of a parking garage with 1,100 parking spaces, improved landscaping, and wider walkways. The center now totals 650,000 sq. ft. and is 100% leased.

"The expansion of Desert Hills Premium Outlets has further elevated this highly-regarded shopping center to include an impressive new collection of designer stores at great savings that will draw regional and international shoppers," said Richard S. Sokolov, president and COO of Simon Property Group. "Adding more great brands to this upscale environment, plus the convenience of a new parking deck will continue to make Desert Hills Premium Outlets a top shopping destination. The project also created hundreds of new jobs and generates significant economic development for the area."

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FINANCE

Herrick Co. acquires 44 CVS-leased retail properties for $190 million

BY Dan Berthiaume

Boca Raton, Fla. – Real estate investment firm The Herrick Company Inc., has acquired 44 retail/pharmacy properties located throughout the U.S. The properties, all of which are occupied under long-term triple net leases with CVS Caremark, were acquired for approximately $190 million.

The transaction reflects The Herrick Company’s continued strategy of investing in single-tenant, long-term net leased assets that are occupied by credit tenants. The CVS leases in the recently acquired portfolio each have 25 years remaining on the term. Affiliates of The Herrick Company purchased the CVS portfolio from private equity firm Fortress Investment Group LLC, with debt financing for the acquisition provided by a consortium of capital sources under a private placement arrangement

"In real estate, there are few investment opportunities as desirable as properties that are leased on a triple net basis by creditworthy tenants such as CVS," said Norton Herrick, chairman of The Herrick Company. "As we actively seek out additional investment opportunities that fit our requirements, we’re intently focused on acquiring this type of stable, low-management-intensive property in the retail, industrial and office sectors."

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Consumers spend $21 billion on video games

BY Dan Berthiaume

Washington, D.C. – U.S. consumers spent more than $21 billion on video game content, hardware and accessories in 2013. According to a new report from the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the trade association representing the U.S. video game industry, called “2014 Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry,” 181.3 million Americans play video games.

Other findings from the report include:

• 51% of U.S. households own a game console, and those that do own an average of two;

• The average game player is 31 years old, and 39% of game players – the largest age segment – are 36 or older;

• 44% of gamers play on smartphones, and 33% play on wireless devices; and

• Casual and social game play on mobile devices and online increased in popularity by 55% from 2012 to 2013.

“Parents across America recognize the widespread benefits of video games, including education, mental stimulation, and the bonding opportunities they create for families,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA. “Video games are a favorite pastime enjoyed by men and women of all ages, and millions worldwide who share their game play experiences with friends and family.”

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