REAL ESTATE

Augmented reality is Santa’s helper at Centennial malls

BY Al Urbanski

Even before they get to the Santa line, families shopping at Centennial-owned malls this holiday season are able to interact digitally with elves, snowmen, and reindeer positioned throughout the atriums.

The Dallas-based company gifted its customers with Centennial AR, an augmented reality app downloadable to mobile phones. Point the app at holiday character posters stationed throughout the properties, and 2D or 3D interactions with characters are summoned up.

Shoppers can use their camera function along with the app to place themselves in the scene and share it as a holiday greeting with friends and family.

“Our team is constantly evaluating opportunities that support not only our shoppers, but also our retailers and business partners,” said CEO Steven Levin.

Centennial partnered with digital media studio Clever Fox on the app, which is available for free via the App Store and Google Play.

Centennial properties include the Connecticut Post Mall in Milford, Conn.; the Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, Ill.; the Brazos Mall in Lake Jackson, Texas; and the Vancouver Mall in Vancouver, Wash.

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REAL ESTATE

Judge bars Starbucks from closing stores in Simon Malls

BY Al Urbanski

In August, when Simon Property Group filed a breach of covenant suit against Starbucks for attempting to close 78 Teavana stores in Simon malls, one legal expert said Simon was drawing a line in the sand.

The bold move paid off for the premium mall owner when an Indiana judge temporarily barred Starbucks from executing the store closings. In a 55-page order, Judge Heather Welch opined that Starbucks was better positioned to sustain the $15 million hit for five months’ rent than Simon was.

“We are disappointed in the judge’s ruling and will continue to focus on finding a resolution,” Starbucks communicated in a statement.

Attorney Dana Kreis Glencer, a leasing specialist at the firm of Dawda Mann in Detroit, told Chain Store Age that Simon’s suit was filed on solid ground.

“Simon may be looking for a settlement, or they may be looking to create some good case law: ‘You violated your covenant to operate and you have to operate,’” she said.

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REAL ESTATE

Jeff Zeigler is named Starwood COO

BY Al Urbanski

Starwood Retail Partners has named Oliver McMillan leasing veteran Jeff Zeigler its chief operating officer.

During 25 years in real estate, Zeigler has been involved in the development, leasing, and management of regional malls, grocery-anchored centers, power centers, and mixed-use projects.

“I’m looking forward to working with [CEO Michael Glimcher] and our team to reinvent the experience we bring to our guests as we add new uses, today’s critical retailers to our centers, and new programs to engage our audiences.”

Zeigler was senior managing director of retail services at Oliver McMillan and sat on the firm’s executive committee. There, he oversaw retail lease negotiations, tenant coordination, project merchandising, and property marketing. Earlier in his career he was a partner at Continental Real Estate and Steiner + Associates and served as senior VP of Leasing at The Westfield Group.

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