REAL ESTATE

CBL malls to close on Thanksgiving

BY Al Urbanski

When holiday shopping madness kicks off on Thanksgiving Day, at least 121 malls will be sitting on the sidelines.

CBL Properties has announced that it will repeat the decision it make last year to let employees at malls across 27 states remain home to enjoy the annual feast with family and friends.

“The support that we received last year when we made this decision was overwhelmingly positive,” said CBL president and CEO Stephen Lebovitz. Feedback from retailers, CBL employees, and shoppers led CBL executives to the same decision this year.

CBL is giving the option to department stores, movie theaters, restaurants and other tenants with exterior entrances to open on Thursday, Nov. 23. The remaining areas of the malls will be open for business bright and early on Black Friday, with tenants cleared to open at 6 a.m.

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REAL ESTATE

ESPN to broadcast from HHC’s Seaport District NYC

BY Al Urbanski

ESPN will open a 19,000-sq.-ft. broadcast studio at Howard Hughes Corporation’s re-do of Manhattan’s South Street Seaport in spring of 2018.

Working out of Pier 17 at the waterfront development now titled Seaport District NYC, the cable sports network will produce several studio shows and radio broadcasts from the location. ESPN is likely to take advantage of Pier 17’s rooftop space for New York location shots when it opens next summer, HHC reported.

“Television goes where the audience is, and the historic Seaport welcomes millions of New Yorkers, visitors, and potential audience members each year,” said Barry Katz, general manager NEP Group, ESPN’s New York studio partner.

HHC colored Pier 17’s illuminated exterior ESPN red last night to celebrate the signing.

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Phillips Edison forms $4 billion grocery-focused REIT

BY Al Urbanski

Phillips Edison, one of the nation’s largest owners and operators of grocery-anchored shopping centers, has formed a new $4 billion REIT focused on this still-growing sector of physical retail.

The Phillips Edison Grocery Center REIT I was formed with the acquisition of certain real estate assets and third-party management businesses of its former sponsor and external advisor, Phillips Edison Limited Partnership.

The new enterprise will manage a portfolio of 235 centers across 32 states, representing more than 26 million sq. ft. of retail space.

“This strategic acquisition allows us to benefit from one of retail real estate’s most comprehensive and successful operating platforms, which was built over the past 25 years,” said chairman and CEO Jeff Edison in an official company statement. “We are now better able to capitalize on growth in the grocery-anchored shopping center industry by gaining scale through our portfolio [and] our asset management business.”

Necessity-based centers, the company noted, “have proven to be both internet and recession resilient.”

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