TENANT UPDATE

Zara and MAC to join luxury lineup at Brickell City Centre

BY Al Urbanski

Swire Properties has announced the addition of Zara and MAC Cosmetics to its 500,000-sq.-ft., open-air collection of luxury retailers and gourmet food option in Miami’s Brickell City Centre. Both stores look toward a fall opening.

The three-level center opened in November with tenants that include Saks Fifth Avenue, Acqua di Parma, Audemars Piguet, Baldanini, Cole Haan, Kendra Scott, and Richard Mille. “It has been our goal to create a retail center where shoppers have access to an extensive lineup of exciting and relevant brands,” said Swire VP of Retail Debora Overholt.

The center’s website offers a “Create Your Own Itinerary” feature for visitiors, who enter their interests and planned length of visit and receive a suggested shopping plan in return.

Brickell City Center is a $1.05 million, 4.9 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use redevelopment of Miami’s Brickell financial district.


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DESIGN/CONSTRUCTION

Supermarket chain investing $1.6 billion in store remodels

BY Marianne Wilson

Discount grocer Aldi is not about to let any new competitors — home-grown or fellow German imports — get the best of it.

The retailer has announced an aggressive $1.6 billion investment in its stores, with plans to remodel and expand more than 1,300 of its locations by 2020. The announcement comes as competition heats up in the value grocery segment, which is bracing itself for the entry of Germany’s Lidl. At the same, Whole Foods Market continues to expand its new, less pricey format, 365 by Whole Foods.

The remodeling program is in addition to Aldi’s accelerated growth plan, which calls for 650 new stores. By the end of 2018, Aldi, which currently operates some 1,600 U.S. stores, expects to operate nearly 2,000 stores nationwide. (As previously announced, the chain will invest more than $3 billion to pay for land, facilities and equipment to open these new stores.)

Aldi’s remodeled stores will have a slightly more upscale and inviting look. The modern design will feature open ceilings, and natural lighting, and such environmentally friendly features as recycled materials, energy-saving refrigeration and LED lighting.

The stores are intended to deliver on customers’ desire for a modern and convenient shopping experience with a focus on fresh items. They will boost expanded produce (including organics), dairy and bakery sections.

“With this significant investment in our stores, what we’re really doing is continuing to invest in Aldi customers,” said Jason Hart, CEO, Aldi. “We’re continuing to expand our fresh offerings, which means we need to provide more space for produce, meat, and bakery items. We’ve also made a number of improvements to our products — such as removing added MSG, certified synthetic colors and partially hydrogenated oils from all of our Aldi exclusive brand foods.”

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DEVELOPMENT/REDEVELOPMENT

Maryland community anxiously awaits mall’s replacement

BY Al Urbanski

"It makes me feel really, really sad. I hate to even go up that way. Sometimes I go up that way because I go to the movie theater and I got to ride by it, and it's just heartbreaking, and to see the mall gone,” Owings Mills, Maryland resident Glenn Watlingon told WMAR-TV about the demolition of the Owings Mills Mall.

Failing malls present challenges to owners, but local residents, too, are reluctant to say goodbye to these retail centers that served them as gathering places and repositories of memories over — in the case of Owings Mills Mall — 30 years.

“I just hope they bring in something good for the neighborhood," Watlingon said to the Baltimore news station.

The property’s owner, Kimco, is currently pursuing leases for Owing Mills Mall’s replacement, a 600,000-sq.-ft. open-air center. Citing a combination of decreased shopper traffic and retail occupancy, Kimco decided to replace the mall with individual, exterior-facing shops around a central parking lot (above).

The AMC theater, which will be the lone hold-over from the mall, is getting a reported $8 million makeover, and Kimco is pursuing big-box retailers and food and beverage formats as tenants.

Kimco has allocated a $108 million budget for the new center, expected to be completed in fall 2019.


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