REAL ESTATE

Zara unveils new global concept store on Fifth Avenue

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — Fashion retail Zara, an Inditex brand, on Thursday will officially open its largest U.S. store – on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan – designed with the latest advancements in sustainability.

The new store, in the Tishman Building (666 Fifth Avenue, at the intersection of 52nd Street), features a three-floor layout that reflects an innovative approach to interior design. The shop opens onto Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street with five display windows and a dramatic façade.

In each of the three floors, the store is organized around two long corridors or "catwalks" that lead to intimate boutique-like cubes on each side. Each space showcases a specific collection. The wood furniture is finished in neutral elegant colors and textures reminiscent of fabrics such as linen or silk.

Additionally, the shop includes all of the sustainability features of Inditex’s eco-efficient stores, including:

  • Motion detectors in the storeroom dim the area’s lights by 80% when no one is present. Motion detectors for lighting are also installed in less-transited areas (toilets and back-of-store corridors).
  • The store’s lighting dims to 66% of normal during janitorial and merchandise loading and unloading shifts.
  • The shop is equipped with the most efficient heating and air conditioning on the market thanks to its Variable Refrigerant Volume system.
  • Energy-intensive systems are turned on in a sequential pattern to prevent demand spikes.
  • Thermostats automatically adjust for heating and air conditioning.
  • Electronically-regulated air curtains at store entrances prevent the influx of colder or hotter air from outside.
  • Speed-controlled mechanical escalators.
  • Automatically opening double entrance doors.
  • Wood used in store fittings and furnishings bears the PEFC seal (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), which guarantees that it comes from sustainably, responsibly harvested forests.

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REAL ESTATE

GoldMax plans 100 new stores in 2012

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Schaumburg, Ill. — GoldMax USA, which specializes in buying gold and precious metals from consumers, announced Tuesday that it plans to open up to 100 new stores in the United States in 2012, adding to its current 200+ store total.

The retailer debuted in Texas with the recent opening of two stores in the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area, and another two will open in the next 30 to 60 days.

GoldMax opened its first Minnesota store (in Roseville) as well, and is under way with a new store at the Mall of America in Bloomington.

"People of all ages and economic backgrounds are rummaging through their jewelry boxes, closets and drawers, attics or basements and garages looking for unwanted items to sell," said GoldMax co-founder Jordan Sadoff.

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REAL ESTATE

Simon Property Group announces two strategic acquisitions

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Indianapolis — Simon Property Group announced that it will acquire a 28.7% equity stake in Klépierre from BNP Paribas for approximately $2 billion.

Klépierre is a Paris-based real estate company that focuses on the ownership, management and development of shopping centers, retail properties and offices across Continental Europe. Klépierre’s portfolio includes 271 shopping centers in 13 countries, with 50% of its properties in France and Belgium, 25% in Scandinavia, and the balance in Central and Southern Europe.

“The investment in Klépierre represents an attractive opportunity for SPG as we seek to broaden our global footprint,” said David Simon, chairman and CEO of SPG.

As part of the Klépierre transaction, David Simon will become the chairman of Klépierre’s nine member supervisory board. Two additional SPG representatives will join the Klépierre board as well.

SPG also announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with its joint venture partner Farallon Capital Management under which SPG is acquiring Farallon’s stake in 26 assets of The Mills Limited Partnership in a transaction valued at $1.5 billion.

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