REAL ESTATE

Westchester’s Ridge Hill to offer interactive Dreamworks Santa exhibit

BY Dan Berthiaume

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC), owner and developer of Westchester’s Ridge Hill, will host DreamPlace, an interactive Santa adventure. DreamWorks Animation has chosen Westchester’s Ridge Hill as one of just seven locations around the country, and the only one in the Northeast during the 2014 holiday season.

DreamPlace will use DreamWorks Animation technology to enable children to experience the full narrative of a visit to the North Pole. The experience will include an immersive journey with the children’s animated movie character Shrek. Appointments will be made by app.

“We are thrilled to work with DreamWorks Animation to bring this creative and memorable update to the annual visit to Santa to our Ridge Hill shoppers,” said Kathryn Welch, executive VP, Forest City Ratner Companies. “At Forest City, we are dedicated to making Westchester’s Ridge Hill a regional destination for families seeking the newest and most exciting entertainment, shopping and dining experiences.”

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REAL ESTATE

Dunkin’ Donuts plans new stores in Minnesota

BY Dan Berthiaume

Canton, Mass. – Dunkin’ Donuts has signed a multi-unit store development agreement with new franchisees, Brian and Sharon Weidendorf, to develop seven restaurants in Duluth, Minnesota, and the surrounding areas. The first restaurant is planned to open in spring 2015.

Joining this team is Pat Messina, a restaurant industry veteran, who will manage and oversee the daily operations for each restaurant. In June 2014, Dunkin’ Donuts announced the grand opening of a new restaurant in Rochester, Minnesota at the Kahler Grand Hotel. In addition to this location, existing franchise group Rochester Retail Services plans to develop five freestanding Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants throughout the Rochester market in the next several years.

Franchise opportunities still remain available throughout Minnesota in Minneapolis and Mankato.

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Guitar Center to open Times Square flagship

BY Marianne Wilson

Los Angeles — Guitar Center will open a flagship in Manhattan’s Times Square on Aug. 7.

The store is located in the original New York Times building. Designed by Eight Inc., the space will offer a high-energy, hands-on environment in which customers are encouraged to interact with the wide selection of instruments and staff.

In addition, the store will feature an in-house lesson facility (Guitar Center Studios), free classes on recording, in-house rental department, a hands-on electronic music department, and onsite guitar repair service, called GC Garage.

Innovative features unique to the new location include a Fender custom shop where craftsmen will tailor guitars to unique specifications. Top-of-the-line, high-end luxury guitars will be showcased in the Platinum Club.

"Joining the caliber of retailers that have established a presence in Times Square over the years is a huge accomplishment and a statement as to how far the brand has come," said Mike Pratt, CEO, Guitar Center, which operates some 260 stores nationwide. "By opening a Guitar Center in such a visible, high-traffic area as Times Square, we are able to open more eyes to the inherent joy that comes from playing an instrument.”

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